Pacifica cliff work shifting

Emergency repairs to a Pacifica cliff next to the ocean will shift to the upper portion of the bluff, which is in danger of collapsing and bring down a 12-unit apartment building with it.

Crews worked through the week to lower boulders to the bottom of a cliff along Esplanade Avenue to try to shore it up and stop erosion caused by crashing waves.

The situation is no longer in an emergency state, said Tony Fortunato, superintendent of Engineered Soil Repairs Inc., the company hired to put the boulders in place.

“For all intensive purposes, the bulk of it is done at the bottom of the bluff,” Fortunato said Wednesday morning. “We still have to do some tuning up, [but] we’re in pretty good shape.”

The upper part of the cliff, however, is still in danger of collapsing. If it does, it could take the 12-unit apartment building at 330 Esplanade Ave. with it.

“The upper bluff is falling as well,” Fortunato said. “We have to fix that somehow.”

He said crews may insert soil nails, or large metal rods, into the cliff to stabilize it, but said he doesn’t know how long that process would take.

Residents of the building were forced to evacuate Dec. 17 after large chunks of the cliff fell into the crashing waves below. The repairs began that day.

Fortunato said crews have worked every day since then, including Christmas Eve and Christmas.

He said his company also has been hired to place large rocks at the base of the cliff below 360 Esplanade Ave., though the erosion there is not as extreme.

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