Midway Planners : Orange Cones and Jack Hammers Are a Comin’

by on September 24, 2014 · 3 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

Midway Dr tdg

Traffic on Midway Drive can be light on Sunday mornings, when this photo was taken, but it’s normally one of the busiest arteries in the area. (Photos by Tony de Garate)

Report of Midway Planners Meeting of September 17

 By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

If you use Midway Drive during the course of your day, consider yourself warned: orange cones and jack hammers are coming.

Traffic along the entire length of Midway Drive, one of the most heavily-traveled and retail-oriented arteries in the Peninsula area, will be reduced by at least one lane because of a three-year, $25.5 million project to replace worn-out sewer and water mains.

And because of proximity to residential areas and hotels, it’s unclear how much – if any – of the construction may take place at night, said Kevin Gibson, project manager for Rick Engineering, during a presentation Sept. 17 at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group (MCPG).

Shovels won’t start flying for more than a year, so there’s plenty of time to rethink your route through the area – or head for the hills, if you prefer. Clearly, that’s what some planning group members had on their minds.

“This is going to be a three-year traffic nightmare,” MCPG Chair Melanie Nickel said.

Only portions of roadway will be under construction at any given time over the life of the project, known as Pacific Beach Pipeline South, and access to businesses will be maintained at all times, Gibson said.

The goal is to keep all construction activity in one lane so that three lanes will be in use on Midway. To achieve this, construction crews can’t remove all worn-out pipe at one time – they have to take out and replace sewer lines first, patch it up, and come back again for the water main replacements, said Jing Debeliso, project engineer for the city.

After the pipes have been replaced, the streets will receive a slurry seal from curb to curb, he said.

In all, the project calls for the replacement of 7.6 miles of water main and 1.6 miles of sewer main in Midway, Mission Bay and the Pacific Highway corridor. The design phase is 60 percent done and will be complete by next March. Construction should begin by the fall of next year and be complete by October of 2018, Gibson said.

It’s part of the city’s ongoing effort to replace aging, crumbling cast-iron pipes with modern materials. “These lines have to be replaced now. If we don’t, we’re going to have more breaks and more damages,” he said.

In addition to Midway Drive, other affected areas include:

  • Ingraham Street from Crown Point to the West Mission Bay Drive bridge;
  • the entire length of West Mission Bay Drive;
  • West Point Loma Boulevard between Adrian Street and Midway Drive;
  • Enterprise Street;
  • and portions of Kurtz, California, and Hancock streets and Kettner Boulevard near Pacific Highway.

Gibson said he doesn’t know yet which streets will be affected first.

In other Midway news:

Midway Cabrillo Hospital tdgCabrillo Hospital a ESL Campus?

It’s a ways off, but the long-vacant Cabrillo Hospital building could be transformed into a campus where hundreds of foreign students will live and learn English. EF International Language Schools has completed a purchase and sales agreement with the building’s owner, said Shawna Sullivan, the school’s director of public affairs. Plans call for remodeling the interior to create 30 classrooms on the first two floors, reserving the remaining eight floors for dormitories for 450 students. The building’s exterior will remain largely intact.

The school has outgrown its current location at the Scripps Ranch campus of Alliant International University, where students from 70 countries attend. Students at the Cabrillo site would be between 18 and 26 and attend a six-week program. The school must apply for a conditional-use permit before it can occupy the building, Sullivan said.

Medical Marijuana Storefront Applicants Not Meeting Requirements

For months it seemed a foregone conclusion that legal storefronts selling medicinal marijuana were coming to Midway – 15 applicants have discussed their proposals before the MCPG in recent months.

Not so fast. Nickel said she has received a second cycle letter from the city reviewing the applications, and not one of them has met all the requirements spelled out in law the San Diego City Council earlier this year. Most of them have been rejected for being too close to areas that service children, Nickel said. The applicants have the right to appeal to the city’s Hearing Officer, which should begin in November, she said.

60-80 Apartment Units to Be Built Next to Community College Building

A vacant two-acre lot next to the San Diego Community College building has been leased to a developer who will build an apartment complex of 60-80 units, Nickel announced in her chairperson’s report. The developer, Veritas Urban Properties, has done several high-profile projects in the area, such as The Point at Ingraham and Famosa Townhomes at the corner of Voltaire Street and Catalina Boulevard.

Complaint on “Un-permitted” Medical Herb Dispensary on Midway Dr.

The days may be numbered for an unpermitted medical marijuana dispensary at one of the suites at 3026 Midway Drive. A code enforcement complaint is being investigated, said Tracy Cambre, aide to District 2 City Councilmember Ed Harris.

Councilman Harris at Oct 15 Meeting

Harris will address the group at next month’s meeting Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. at the San Diego Community College – West City Campus, 3249 Fordham St., Room 208.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

M.K. September 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Omg what a nightmare. Thanks for letting us know OB Rag. I know most of your readers only care about OB, but most of you come our way sometimes, so I like it when the Rag covers Midway too.


Frank Gormlie September 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm

MK – We are trying to cover more of the Peninsula, including the Midway area. And we’re looking for neighborhood “reporters” to help us out. If interested, contact me via our gmail account: obragblog@gmail.com



M.K. September 29, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Also I live right behind Cabrillo Hospital and none of my neighbors know anything about this. Sounds cool though.


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