Contractor feels 'better' about Pacifica cliff

February 1, 2010 8:49:58 AM PST
The chance of saving an apartment building atop an eroding bluff in Pacifica is improving every day, a contractor hired to save the cliff said today.

Crews have been working to save the apartment building at 330 Esplanade Ave. atop the crumbling cliff since December, when residents of the 12-unit building were forced to evacuate shortly before Christmas.

After placing thousands of tons of rocks at the base of the cliff to provide a buffer for the pounding surf, crews began drilling soil nails into the side of the cliff, according to Tony Fortunato, superintendent at Engineered Soil Repairs Inc., the company hired to put the boulders in place and repair the crumbling cliff.

For the past week and a half, workers have been installing the soil nails, or metal rods, into the cliff. When that project is complete in about a month, there will have been about 260 soil nails placed into the bluff, Fortunato said.

After the soil nails are installed, shotcrete --the spraying of cement that will be reinforced by the metal rods -- will be added to the cliff, according to Fortunato.

He said today that even though the cliff continues to erode, its chances of lasting and keeping the apartment building above are improving.

"Things are going well," Fortunato said. "I'm starting to feel better every day."

His company has not been hired to work on 320 Esplanade Ave., the apartment building next door to 330 where residents were partially evacuated this month after a portion of the top of the cliff eroded in a storm.

"Time definitely isn't on their side," Fortunato said of that building.

He said his company's next project will likely be to save and repair Land's End, a public access point down the road from the Esplanade Avenue apartments where pounding waves are also causing erosion.


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