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La Jolla streets closed for emergency stabilization of Cook's Crack cave

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Aug 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-10 02:19:37-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) — Coast Boulevard in La Jolla was shut down Thursday, and will remain temporarily closed, as city crews began emergency construction to stabilize a nearby cave.

The city closed Coast Blvd. late Thursday to begin an emergency project to stabilize Cook's Crack after geology experts discovered a zone of weakness in the cave, which is located underneath the street.

During a press conference, crews said the concern is an outright collapse of the section of road over the cave. Currently, the weakness "is not a slow settlement" and could fail if erosion happens underneath the street. Much of the dense rock had eroded, and now sand and roots were showing through from underneath.

As part of the project, sections of Cave St. and Coast Blvd. will be temporarily closed to traffic for about six weeks. The city said it will make accommodations for nearby residents and business affected by the closure.

Officials said the discovery came as the city assessed repairs to Coast Blvd.

"They said there's been some shift in the road itself," David Heine, owner of nearby Brockton Villa Restaurant, said. "The busiest two weeks of summer, literally ... Obviously safety's the number one concern for any city, and we respect that."

Heine said crews are allowing pedestrians to continue to walk through the area.

The city called in crews from Texas, who drove in overnight to take over the project. Friday, the crews began drilling into the street above to locate some of the weakest points. Eco-friendly polyurethane will be used to shore up those weak points, crews say.

Cook's Crack is located in the area between La Jolla Cove and the popular Cave Store. The section of coastline is populated by several small caves that tourists can explore through an entrance in The Cave Store or kayaking nearby.

The section of Coast Blvd. over the cave is a popular route to visit the cove and coastline, as well as restaurants that dot the street.