Heavy rains caused major erosion on part of Depot Hill in Capitola last winter. The city closed part of the Grand Avenue pathway for public safety and now say that could be closed for more than two years.
Capitola's Public Works Director, Steven Jesberg, says the cliffs between Oakland Avenue and Hollister Avenue on Grand Avenue suffered from major erosion.
Jesberg says it is not only dangerous for people walking above the cliffs, but also people down below, "One [danger] is being underneath them, when it fails, so we have signs warning people about the Bluffs, they are very erodible. And then obviously if you're standing up above it when it fails, the ground will go out from underneath you."
The city will issue a permit for that part of the street to be closed until a permanent solution is found. Jesberg says public works has been working with a geologist to find the best solutions.
"The first thing we are looking at is trying to fill in some of the sea caves, as the bottom of get scoured out by the waves and form caves, you can fill those in with a concrete. Or ya know stabilizing the bluff faces with concrete or sea walls," Jesberg says.
Unfortunately, Jesberg says, all of the fixes they have looked at so far are very expensive, "You'd be looking at millions and millions of dollars to completely stabilize those bluff faces."
Mindy Palmer who lives near the crumbling cliffs says she was not surprised by the erosion, "I think it's part of the natural process, it's going to happen to these cliffs eventually, so you know we enjoy the beauty while we have it."