Pacifica building evacuations may last for months


The temporary road at the site of Pacifica's crumbling cliff is completed. That should speed the emergency work on laying boulders at the cliff base. The project is working against a deadline presented by mother nature; a high tide in combination with a possible storm surge are possibly on the way next week.

"The goal right now stop any stuffing, we are trying to stop that. We are going to have high tides next week and maybe some storm surges. They may have extremely high tides next week, is to need to get it in," said Tony Fortunato from Engineered Repairs Inc.

The primary contractor on the work below 330 Esplanade Avenue says they will be here working through Christmas day and beyond, hoping work might be completed by Sunday. Engineers will have to assess if enough rock is in place at that time.

Even if they give the thumbs up, completion of this phase is only the first of a many-phased process to satisfy the city that the cliff is stable enough to support the apartments above it and anyone living there. That could be many, many months away.

Pacifica residents home for the Christmas holiday will be able to come down and check out the progress. Christmas will be delayed for these workers.

"It's our community, we're interested, wish it wasn't happening to the people, part of having a wonderful view," said Pacifica resident Pete Garcia.

Bart Willoughby, the agent representing a few of the Esplanade Avenue building owners says it could be at least 6 months before the upper part of the cliff is stabilized with a second phase of work.

Willoughby says he has applied for FEMA grant to help cover the expense of saving 330 Esplanade, but he is not hopeful that funding will be granted. Willoughby says the current bill for just this emergency work is at about $400,000. The building is worth roughly $4 million, according the Willoughby.

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