The governor and legislature can fix this in 2024. Why won't they?
Author: Fix it now. Tunnel later.
Date: 02-04-2024 - 19:37
Stabilization is not rocket science. The governor could declare an emergency and implore the legislature to do the same. Together they can authorize immediate emergency design and construction. They can pass the necessary measures to bypass the Commie Coastal Commission and other years delaying bureaucratic hurdles. Just like with earthquake repairs. The Surfliner shutdowns from hillslides are a natural disaster. Incremental repeatedly occurring small scale natural disasters with major effects.
The area at risk is less than 4 miles where the tracks run next to hillsides. With houses on top already. There is a road in between further north. Urbanized areas. Scenic but not a wilderness, not a national park. Stabilization structures will not destroy it. Also there is less than a mile in Del Mar atop the bluffs where the tracks run on a shelf next to a slightly higher ledge. Not much to stabilize there. So only 5 miles total of 130 miles of coastline between SD and LA. And not all of that needs stabilization. Maybe half of it.
Emergency exploration, preparation, and design could begin this month. Construction could begin in a few months and mostly finished within a year. Any bypass and tunnel is a decade away. Even if included in an emergency declaration. Do the fix of the current line this year. Now. Perfect is the enemy of the good.
I do not believe the Democrat governor nor the Democrat legislature have the courage nor wisdom to fix this now. Instead they will say what Dems want to hear and make excuses and stick to the current Byzantine system rather than upset the usual activists and funders that control the party. Promises of a perfect tunnel with excuses excuses down the road why it never gets built is easier than fixing things now.