Crews battle erosion brought on by storms

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January 18, 2010 5:46:45 PM PST
Crews from the San Francisco Department of Public Works placed sandbags strategically along a cliff by the Great Highway just south of Sloat Boulevard Monday to prevent further erosion from the oncoming storms this week.

"We're making sure the rain water that's coming down the hill finds itself to a safe path instead of doing further damage to the hillside," spokesperson Chris McDaniels said.

On Friday, the DPW issued a declaration of emergency to protect the bluff. The declaration allows the department to hire contractors and purchase materials to begin work immediately.

The department has already realigned the southbound lanes of the highway south of Sloat Boulevard away from the cliff which has already lost some 30 feet of hillside from recent storm surges.

Meanwhile, in Pacifica crews from Kropp and Associates Engineering drilled down 80 feet to beach elevation to assess the soil content between the evacuated 12 unit apartment building on Esplanade Avenue and the base of the bluff.

A chunk of cliff along Esplanade Avenue near the threatened apartments fell into the ocean Monday morning.

Kropp says next week, 50-foot long nails will be drilled into the side of the bluff to stabilize the soil under the apartment building.

But not everyone is remaining optimistic about the possibility of saving the building.

"They need to throw the towel in on those apartments, it's not going to work," Pacifica resident Kinwood DeVore said.

Sunday, crews dropped in 400 tons of rock to shore up the bluff. More boulders may be brought in depending on the ferocity of the storms this week.