Del Mar train tunnel project get feedback from residents at SANDAG meeting

DEL MAR, Calif. — SANDAG hosted its second workshop on Wednesday to engage the Del Mar community on a controversial plan to put a train tunnel under the city. 

Meetings surrounding the topic have been well-attended, with local residents continuing to show they want to be a part of the process at every step. 

“It’s really destructive to Del Mar. Tourism is probably going to go way down,” said Monica Meredith with “Save Del Mar.”

Community members have asked about noise, vibrations, and what will happen to their homes and businesses if the tunnel would run beneath them. SANDAG addressed several of those concerns while speaking with FOX 5. 

“People who might’ve been concerned that there would be a vent near their home, that’s not the way the design is. It’s just step one on the north and south ends,” explained Sharon Humphreys, SANDAG Director of Engineering and Construction.

One rendering presented by SANDAG suggests the tunnel would be deeper underground than the Statue of Liberty.

“It’s going be so deep that our tunnel experts tell me you’re not going to know it’s there,” said Humphreys. 

SANDAG’s plan is to get the train away from the bluffs by 2035. Most residents agree the train must be moved off the vulnerable cliffs, but the debate centers on trying to find the best location.

SANDAG has previously presented five possible rail alignments, but residents are really pushing for routes farther from homes. 

They have prioritized either under the state-owned fairgrounds property or what seems to be the most popular, running along the I-5 freeway. 

“The common sense alternative,” said resident Julie Pinney. “It solves most of the residents problems.”

SANDAG has promised to be open to these alternatives. 

“Comparing them to the other options and what we’re going to bring forward to the community is the best project for the region,” said Humphreys.

SANDAG is hosting another virtual meeting opportunity about the alignment option on Oct. 19. 

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