OCTA seeks input on Coastal Rail Resiliency Study, plan to protect rail line due 2025

OCTA seeks input on Coastal Rail Resiliency Study, plan to protect rail line due 2025 Image credit: Orange County Transportation Authority

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is gathering feedback on the Coastal Rail Resiliency Study, which includes an initial assessment identifying the most vulnerable areas along 7 miles of coastal rail between San Clemente and Dana Point.

The Coastal Rail Resiliency Study aims to protect a critical link in Southern California’s rail infrastructure. Concepts continue to evolve, including incorporating sand nourishment into the reinforcement of the rail line with riprap and revetment. The OCTA team continues to explore the permitting process, logistics and cost of delivering large amounts of sand in a timely manner.

The goal is to ensure that rail traffic can continue moving without additional interruptions along this vital rail connection that links San Diego County passenger and freight traffic to Orange County and areas farther north. The priority is to address the areas identified in need of reinforcement before the next storm season arrives. 

OCTA will continue to work with local, state and federal partners and explore all funding options. Rough estimates on the potential solutions range from approximately $210 million to $340 million depending on multiple factors such as the permitting process, availability of materials, and securing specialized equipment.

Beyond the initial assessment, additional concepts, developed with community input, are scheduled to be presented later this year, then refined, before a draft plan to address protecting the rail line in place for the next 10 to 30 years goes to the OCTA Board in 2025.

Because California continues to grapple with the increasing prevalence of storm-related damage to its transportation infrastructure, OCTA recognizes the importance of adaptive strategies to maintain safe, reliable and efficient rail service.

OCTA will work with all partners and stakeholders to explore long-term solutions for protecting rail movement for generations to come – solutions that could eventually include moving the rail line inland. As part of those long-term efforts, OCTA is advocating for a state-led capital project effort to address concerns along the 351-mile LOSSAN corridor to safeguard the future of rail transportation stretching from San Diego to San Luis Obispo.

Source: Orange County Transportation Authority