Thursday, August 1, 2013

Seawall reconstruction

CalTrans is currently working to rebuild the seawall near Solimar Beach along old PCH / Hwy 101 north of Ventura.  This is a popular beach during the summer, and although beach access is still possible from either end it's looking pretty ugly.  It appears that the riprap has been moved away from the toe of the seawall and placed in the surf zone to  protect the project area from wave action.  All of these rocks should be removed upon project completion.

According to the Coastal Commission staff report:


Demolish approximately1,800 linear ft. of existing seawall and replace with a new seawall of the same length and height in a further landward location; remove approximately 1,800 linear ft., 12 ft. wide existing rock revetment located immediately seaward of the existing seawall to be demolished; construct a new public access stairway and a new public access ramp to the beach; install three new public access signs and two new ADA- compliant parking spaces and signs; and repair and pave existing adjacent road shoulder and bicycle lane areas. 

As originally proposed project did not include the removal of any portions of the existing 1,800 linear ft. long rock revetment located seaward of the existing seawall. Moreover, the project also only included removal of the top 10 ft. of the existing seawall, leaving the lower portion visible above the typical elevation of beach sand. Through collaboration between Commission staff and the applicant, the proposed project has been modified to now include removal of the existing 1,800 linear ft. seawall down to two feet below the lowest expected beach sand profile and complete removal of the approximately 1,800 linear ft., 12 ft. wide existing rock revetment, thereby reducing potential visual impacts and increasing the area of useable beach. Thus, as now proposed to demolish all visible portions of the existing approximately 3 ft. wide seawall, reconstruct the new seawall in a further landward location, and remove all portions of the existing approximately 12 ft. wide rock revetment on site; this project will serve to reduce the footprint of shoreline armoring on site by approximately 15 ft. and will increase the area of sandy beach currently available for use by the public while continuing to ensure the geologic and engineering stability of Pacific Coast Highway. Moreover, the project has been designed to incorporate additional public access and recreational improvements including construction of a new public access stairway and a separate public access ramp to the sandy beach from the road shoulder parking area on site.

The existing seawall was originally constructed in 1934 and retrofitted in 1966. Construction of the proposed new seawall will include the landward placement of 605 “Cast-In-Drilled-Hole” piles, ranging from 2.6 ft. to 3 ft. in diameter. The piles will extend down to 54 ft. below the elevation of the adjacent road way and will maintain the same longitudinal footprint as the existing seawall to be demolished. The existing seawall will be removed to two feet below the lowest winter beach sand profile and all existing rock revetment will be removed. An eleven foot tall curved seawall fascia that has been designed to minimize tidal and wave overtopping will be added to the seaward side and top of the piles after the existing seawall is removed.

More Info:

Coastal Commission:
Coastal Commission Staff Report for Permit # 4-11-026 may be downloaded at this link: