River sand removal project moving forward

OCEANSIDE — Following a wait for needed permits and final year’s bird nesting season, excess sediment removal in the San Luis Rey River is about to start.

“The expected timing for sediment removal, taking ecological constraints into consideration, is by mid-September to mid-March,” Greg Fuderer, senior public affairs specialist for Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District, said.

The project, which was first planned to start in September 2016, has to be finished by early spring because of the cited environmental restrictions that protect birds migrating from Mexico.

To finish the project within the allowable six-month window, then dump trucks will drag removed river sand 10 hours a day at the rate of a truckload of sand leaving the site every five minutes.

“Work will require sediment removal, mitigation, levee inspections and some other incidental levee repairs,” Fuderer said.

Sediment removal makes it possible for a larger capacity of water flow within the river. Efforts will protect the area from a 100-year flood event, which may be caused by heavy rains.

“The ultimate goal is for the river to convey its approved 71,200 cubic feet per second,” Fuderer said.

The project provides the further benefit of dredged sand being added to local coastal beaches to replenish sand reduction.

The overall project will eliminate sand from three areas of the river. The next two stages will likely be farther downstream.

The initial phase will eliminate about 230,000 cubic yards of material. It is estimated 150,000 cubic yards of this will be beach compatible sand.

Dredged material will be attracted to El Corazon Recycling, sorted for beach-quality sand, then trucked to city beaches for sand replenishment efforts.

Compatible sand will be put on beaches from Seagaze Drive to Pine Street. If there’s additional sand the next locations to benefit are beaches from Oceanside Boulevard to Buccaneer Beach.

Environmental constraints also limit the window of time that sand could be put on beaches.

“Limits for grunion runs require placement to be complete by mid-March,” Fuderer said.

To prepare the work place from Foussat Road to Douglas Drive town is working together with the drive-in theatre property owner to permit a staging site for your project, and placing a detour for your bike trail along the lake. Detour signs using a map of an alternative bike route will be published.

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