Scenic loop path soon to come full circle

Scenic loop path soon to come full circle
Survey work will soon begin on the third and final phase of the River Path Del Mar project, which will extend the trail from the Old Grand Avenue Bridge to Crest Canyon. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

DEL MAR — The third and final phase of the River Path Del Mar extension is underway after council members at the Sept. 5 meeting awarded biological, boundary and topography survey contracts and accepted grants to pay for the work.

The first two segments of the project added pedestrian pathways along the north side of San Dieguito Drive from Jimmy Durante Boulevard to the Grand Avenue Bridge.

The last portion will extend the path from the bridge to Crest Canyon.

Public Works Director Joe Bride said environmental mitigation might be required because of limited shoulder space, sloping topography, utility lines and restricted site distance along San Dieguito Drive.

Dudek, an environmental consultant firm, was awarded a $12,800 contract to complete the biological survey, which will help identify impacts that could occur as a result of the selected path alignment.

Towill Inc. will be paid $13,538 for topography and mapping services.

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy secured grants of $15,000 each from REI and the Malk Nature Fund to pay for the surveys.

When those are complete, concept designs and alignment studies will be needed to determine the best location for the path and what improvements will be needed. After that will come construction documents and contractor bidding.

Undergrounding power lines along San Dieguito Drive by San Diego Gas & Electric may also be included.

There is currently no money slated for any work beyond the surveys. The total project cost is approximately $1.6 million.

Bride said the project is one of the final elements of the city’s scenic loop trail that will connect Crest Canyon to the ocean.

He said at low tide people will be able to walk along the shoreline from Torrey Pines State Beach to the San Dieguito River trail, then along the river path through Crest Canyon to Del Mar Heights Road.

The remaining section, along Camino del Mar from Fourth Street to Carmel Valley Road, will complete the loop. It is part of ongoing roadway improvements in that area in the southern part of Del Mar.

That portion should be finished within the next year, Bride said. It is currently partially funded.

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