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Emergency repair underway after residential road edge in Del Mar crumbles following heavy rain

Geologist says old pipes rotting underground can lead to sinkholes
San Dieguito Drive Del Mar
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 20:51:08-04

DEL MAR, Calif. — Traffic was down to just one lane on the narrow San Dieguito Drive Thursday.

“The westbound lane, which is on the north side of the road had a portion that had (fell) down into the lagoon that had pulled down the guardrail there and exposed a sewer line, … and some of that material had fallen down into the lagoon,” said Clem Brown, assistant city manager for the City of Del Mar.

Crews were working to stabilize a sewer line on the residential road Thursday. They were filling the embankment with rock and sand.

“We’re hoping that by the end of (the) weekend that repair will be done and both lanes of traffic will be re-opened,” Brown said.

Traffic was slowed down for the second day in a row in Oceanside. All westbound lanes of the 78 are closed from College Blvd to El Camino Real while crews work to repair a massive sinkhole.

California Highway Patrol said Thursday afternoon the westbound lanes are expected to be closed until Saturday.

Crews are scooping out the dirt under the freeway and are trying to get to a culvert that is believed to be 30 feet below the ground and clogged causing flooding.

Retired City of San Diego senior geologist Robert Hawk said drainage systems can get overwhelmed when it rains and many steel pipes underground have exceeded their lifespan.

“When we have large storms with a lot of water that will go through the holes in that pipe and erode out the soil around it. And then that erosion hole will reach to the surface and look like a sink hole.”