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Commentary By Donna Westfall – February 8, 2024

Last month, on January 14th, the hillside on Pebble Beach Drive between 7th and 8th was looking bad. A 75 foot section of the bluff slid down to the beach. Vehicles and pedestrians are prevented from accessing that area due to safety concerns. This week, it’s worse. The road is a mess. It is breaking apart due to the most recent downpour.

Picture By Doug Westfall

At Monday night’s Council meeting February 5th, City Manager Eric Wier gave a presentation by starting out with, “This remains a top priority project for City staff as well as obviously the community.”

Later on in the meeting they addressed this problem through Agenda Item 12 by declaring an emergency due to continuous slide activity and the failure of Pebble Beach Drive.

The report prepared by City Attorney, Martha Rice and Director of Public Works, Dave Yeager went over the background dating back to the storms of December 2016 when evidence of road cracks and loss of road foundation appeared.

At this point in time, the project is estimated around $30 million for a permanent fix. Funding is a real concern. This week, Dave Yeager had a meeting set up with the geotechnical engineer as well as with a contractor. Yeager is keeping up communications with Cal Trans and Coastal Commission.

Close up

They have submitted the damage estimate and Emergency Opening (EO). Work would have to be completed within 270 days, and it could be 100% reimbursable but that is only for the emergency work.

If you want to watch the YouTube videos, it’s in two parts. And Part two had a technical problem for about the first seven minutes. There was no sound and no ZOOM.

3 thoughts on “Can Pebble Beach Drive Be Fixed?”
  1. Thanks for publishing the latest news! The wind farm proposals; the Harbor Commission; erosion of Pebble Beach Drive bluffs; and much more. It’s also good to go back and refresh oneself on the history of our County governance. Keep up the good work, Crescent City Times. It’s nice to be informed!

    1. The question should not be “Can Pebble Beach be Fixed?” but rather “Should Pebble Beach be Fixed?”

      There is a tale in Greek Mythology about King Sisyphus, who was cursed by Zeus to roll a huge boulder up a hill every day, just to wake the next day and find it had rolled back down. Starting over, day after day, Sisyphus was doomed to struggle with that boulder for the rest of eternity.

      There is no stopping acts of God and the relentless forces of Nature. The ocean will do what it does, and we simple mortals can only waste our time, effort and resources trying to stop it.

      If you think Pebble Beach looks bad now, just wait til later this year. Science tells us that we are going to be hit by a “Super El Nino” this year that will be the most powerful since the late 1700s when El Nino temperatures were first recorded. Even more challenges will come our way as the Sun’s magnetic poles reverse and as Earth’s own magnetic “Polar Wandering” progresses at break-neck speed. I suppose the hardcore “Man-Made Global Warming” enthusiasts can throw in their two cents worth in also.

      In my opinion, the best course of action would be to weigh benefits of costs to repair and temporarily halt the problem against the alternative. What is the alternative? Do nothing to “Fix the Problem” and continue to redirect traffic. Such a modest proposal won’t cost much more than a few permanent road signs replacing the temporary ones, and added maintenance to roads that will carry the extra traffic. It might inconvenience a few commuters with a minute or two of extra driving. The way policies, taxes and fees are going in California, most cars will be too expensive to drive in the near future anyway.

      This should definitely not be a “Top Priority” for our City Manager. I would suggest that his biggest priority should be working within the confines of his budget, just like all the rest of us need to do. This community needs to realize that the endless string of “Emergencies” being declared by our local government are just opportunities for our elected con-artists to suck more tax money from the public. Just like the new wastewater fee increases, they are playing this community for a bunch of mindless suckers. Perhaps they are right because nobody is catching on to their scams.

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