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Pacific Street Emergency Repairs. Oceanside, CA

Client: City of Oceanside Public Works Department

TGI served as the City’s geotechnical consultant for an emergency repair of the Pacific Street crossing of the San Luis Rey River at the Pacific Ocean.   


During severe rain storms in January 2005, a roughly 500 foot long section of roadway at the river crossing was completely destroyed when higher than normal river discharge exceeded the capacity of several polyethylene culverts.  Pacific Street is a major connecting point between coastal Oceanside and Oceanside Harbor.  The City determined that reconstructing the roadway and re-establishing the link to the harbor was critical to the economic welfare of the City because it was part of the course of the annual Ironman Triathlon event, so the repair was undertaken as an emergency project. Because of the emergency status, detailed formal design and construction documents were not developed.  


The most critical element of the project consisted of the installation of a flexible multi-plate aluminum culvert measuring 15 feet high, 22 feet wide and 90 feet long with a 0.175” wall thickness, together with the earthwork and paving required to install the culvert and rebuild the roadway.  Earthwork and construction activities were performed in a compressed timeframe and were complicated by tidal fluctuations and continuing storm events that kept the river at flood stage during much of the construction.  The invert of the culvert also had to be constructed below groundwater in order to achieve required road grades. 



TGI provided geotechnical engineering consulting and field observation and testing services during construction of the project.  Critical components that were addressed by TGI included:


  • Evaluation and monitoring of the stability of the excavation and sand berm dikes during subgrade preparation for and installation of the culvert, and;

  • Providing ongoing “real time” geotechnical recommendations as issues and challenges were encountered in the field. 


This project was uniquely challenging in many ways and required a high level of communication between City personnel, contractors and TGI to deal with the dynamic circumstances and environment.  TGI was a critical member of the project team that was able to successfully complete the project in less than 6 weeks.  The roadway was restored and reopened a few days before the start of the Ironman Triathlon.  It remained in service until a new bridge was constructed and the old alignment was removed in late 2008.


This project received an “Outstanding Project Award” from the San Diego Chapter of the American Public Works Association in 2005.

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