La Conchita Goes to the Beach

Thursday, May 2, 2013
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The highway construction project in front of La Conchita has been going on for a couple years now, and for most of this time the residents in La Conchita have not been able to use their traditional access to the beach – a four-foot-high drainage tunnel in the center of town. Adding very significantly to the frustration is the fact that the residents could have had access to the beach most of this time, as a new drainage tunnel was completed at least a year ago in the location of the old tunnel. However, the residents were blocked from using it, being told they had to wait for the completion of an adjacent pedestrian tunnel.

The La Conchita residents had always used a drainage tunnel to access the beach, so the reason for not allowing people to use the new, much taller drainage tunnel while the pedestrian tunnel is competed adds to the frustration.

[A contractor associated with the project] has allegedly threatened the community with retribution if anyone tries to use the drainage tunnel to get to the beach, and he appears to be carrying out that threat. I heard that someone had indeed tried to use the drainage tunnel to access the beach and it appears that, as a result, work on the pedestrian tunnel has virtually stopped.

This issue is more than just an issue of convenience, it is also an issue of safety. Their are two remaining drainage tunnels that La Conchita residents can use to access the beach. The one most often used, as it is the next closest to the community, requires you to go over the railroad tracks to get to the tunnel entrance, as the portion of the tunnel under the railroad tracks is filled with dirt, leaving only a couple feet of clearance. So families with children are having to carry their beach stuff up over the railroad tracks to get to the beach – a fairly dangerous situation. The next tunnel is about a quarter-mile past the north edge of town and requires you to walk about 1,000 feet right next to the railroad tracks, then go down a steep concrete drainage about 15 feet long. So both of those alternatives have significant safety issues.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Here we go again. Uninformed local residents. Let me try to assist:

The area is under construction. California law places liability for injury or death *during construction* with the contractor. This is why they don't want you walking through the drainage tunnel until the construction is complete. Construction is defined as complete (legally speaking) when *all* of the construction that the drainage contractor is working on is complete... so until they complete their *entire portion of their contract*, they are liable for injury or death to you using the completed drainage tunnel. Got it? I hope so.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 2:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And to be extra clear: the same contractor who is built the drainage tunnel is NOT complete with other parts of the job and so is still liable on the completed drainage tunnel until those other parts are complete as well.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Now that the Dark Side has given it's rebuttal, may I suggest civil disobedience with a huge media invite list. Block all other work EXCEPT the pedestrian bridge. It's just another example of an outsider coming in and creating chaos with people's lives.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 3, 2013 at 4 p.m. (Suggest removal)

right KV, while the Dark Side aka Willy88 snidely lectures this letter writer, maybe he ought to be more concerned about illegal construction on the Sta Ynez Valley MX track...carved out of 22 acres of ranch land without a conditional use permit from the County. got it, Willy, I hope so.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 7, 2013 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes ken and Dan: it's sooo *dark* to educate people and inform them of state law related to construction liability. Dark, very dark.

It's snide in my tone because the letter is written by a lib dem who supports the same state centric control and over regulating that is supported and passed by the dems she votes for.

And as for you: instead of a useless media event how about vote some common sense pols into state positions who will modify these laws so the contractor is not liable and residents *can* use the tunnel before construction is complete?

Nope you won't. It's more personally and selfishly satisfying for you to propose civil disobedience and create costly delays for others by demonstrating and shutting down construction instead of fixing the laws created by the dems you support.

willy88 (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The issue isn't about me it's about the residents of La Conchita once again getting screwed over.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 10, 2013 at 4:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Willy88 is suggesting that the timing of the completion of the pedestrian tunnel project is fixed - dependent on when the entire drainage project is complete. This is not what I was told. I was told the contractor in charge said the tunnel could be open at the start of summer, but that if people tried to use it before it was complete that the tunnel completion would be postponed until the end of the project. I haven't seen anyone working on the tunnel project in some time now. It appears the construction effort is now, and has been for some time, focused on the sound wall.

fbremner (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe they can focus more energy and resources on the tunnel until the left/right lane nonsense in Cito wears everyone out.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 19, 2013 at 10:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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