Shifting Ocean Beach sand to be transported elsewhere in San Francisco 

Sand at Ocean Beach has been shifting at historic levels, leading to more than 65 nonscheduled road closures on Great Highway so far this year, many of which lasted multiple days.

So the National Park Service will soon begin transporting 100,000 cubic yards of excess sand — enough to fill 31 Olympic-size swimming pools — from in front of the O’Shaughnessy Seawall to an erosion-damaged area south of Sloat Boulevard.

Click on the photo to the right to see a picture of Ocean Beach from the 1970s.

Once all the sand is relocated, the so-called Ocean Beach Sand Management project will monitor the situation to see how long it remains in place, how well it protects the bluffs and where it moves the near-shore environment.
“It’s an opportunity to place sand in an area where we’ve had a lot of erosion to protect the bluffs and wastewater infrastructure,” said Steve Ortega, National Park Service project manager.  

The Park Service will be working with The City’s Department of Public Works and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to implement the project, which is expected to take about five weeks once it begins in late July or early August. The three agencies haven’t yet finalized the cost, but current estimates suggest that it will cost the city $700,000, SFPUC spokesman Tyrone Jue said.

“It’s a great and sustainable measure that I think people are going to support,” Jue said.

But the work will also save the government money in other ways.

“This has caused significant additional maintenance efforts from both the NPS and city maintenance crews,” Mayor Ed Lee said during a Board of Supervisors meeting on June 19.

Some parking areas will be temporarily closed by the work, including the lot at Stairwell 28 and a lot at Sloat Boulevard. The closure also will affect southbound lanes of the Great Highway between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

Ortega said the Park Service knows that these are popular areas, and is designing the project to have the least negative impact possible.

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Kayla Figard

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