Crews continue to work on Pacifica cliff 

Following Sunday's collapse of another large chunk of sand from the side of a Pacifica cliff in danger of falling down all together, a
contractor hired to save the cliff said Tuesday emergency work has been intensified.

The vacant apartment building at 330 Esplanade Ave. has been teetering on the edge of the cliff since Dec. 17, when residents of the
12-unit building were forced to evacuate due to the cliff's instability.

Crashing waves at the base of the cliff have caused erosion, but about 2,500 tons of boulders, each weighing four to six tons, have been
placed at the base of the cliff to create a buffer for the waves.

Tony Fortunato, superintendent at Engineered Soil Repairs Inc., the company hired to put the boulders in place, said that after the 100 to
150 yards of sand fell from the side of the cliff Sunday, his crews raised the level of the rocks to about 21 to 22 feet high.

"It wasn't catastrophic," he said of the sand chunks that crumbled Sunday. "But it looks pretty intense, I can tell you that."

Emergency repair work to the base of the cliff is mostly complete, he said, but now the workers must come up with a plan to save the upper part of the cliff.

Fortunato said installing soil nails, metal rods inserted into the cliff to support it, is only one idea of many on the table.

He said he will talk to the property owner at a meeting Wednesday, and that another solution might be to move the apartment building.

"Soil nails is the most likely outcome," Fortunato said. "It's the quickest, and it's a good way to go. (But) moving the building is another
option. It's been discussed -- you bring up all types of scenarios in this type of situation."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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