Carlsbad Completes Major Drainage Improvements

The City of Carlsbad has completed repairs of several storm drains around the city in its ongoing drive to prevent flooding during rainstorms.

Repairs have been made to drains in downtown Carlsbad Village and northwestern Carlsbad, which have some of the oldest and least efficient storm drain pipes in the city, and elsewhere. 

The jobs included repairing, replacing or relining old pipe. Work crews installed new storm drain pipes in the Village and in neighborhoods where pipes didn’t exist. Work crews also replaced or repaired corrugated metal pipe that had corroded in La Costa and northwest Carlsbad. 

Carlsbad Associate Engineer Sherri Howard, who manages the city’s storm drain improvement programs, said the work is part of a multiyear plan that systematically addresses storm drain problems citywide. The program’s purpose is to bring old infrastructure up to today’s standards to protect property, the environment and public safety. Sites in northwestern Carlsbad where work was recently completed are:

  • Mountain View Avenue at Pacific Avenue, where crews re-graded the road and installed a gutter to convey water across the street to an existing storm drain.
  • Madison Street between Grand Avenue and Arbuckle Place, where crews removed and replaced the sidewalk, curb and gutter and re-graded and replaced the road surface to get runoff to drain in the right direction.
  • Roosevelt Street between Beech and Grand avenues, where work crews installed 245 feet of reinforced concrete pipe under the road surface to connect to the existing storm drain system. They also installed two curb inlets and a cleanout.
  • Harrison Street south of Chinquapin Avenue, where crews removed old concrete curb and gutter and re-graded half the street and sidewalk to improve flow. This low-lying area on the north shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon has had a history of drainage problems, because some properties are at a higher elevation than their neighbors, causing storm water to flow in the wrong direction. Improvements here included new concrete curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

Contractor Palm Engineering completed that work in October at a cost of $182,000. The City of Carlsbad replaced corrugated metal pipes at the following four locations — two in northern Carlsbad and two in southern Carlsbad. The two locations in northwestern Carlsbad are:

  • El Arbol Drive at Cerezo Drive, and
  • Elmwood Drive near Buena Vista Way

 The two sites in La Costa are both near La Costa Avenue. Those are

  • A location just west of Viejo Castilla Way, and
  • Badajoz Place

 Superior Gunnite completed these repairs in October at a cost of $168,000. 

Howard said that the improvements in the Village area are part of a long-term project to improve the system to handle current demands. “Much of the drainage in this part of the city was installed back in the ’60s and wasn’t designed for today’s needs, so we’re bringing it up to modern standards,” Howard said.

The storm water drainage system, which is separate from the sewer system, includes gutters, channels and underground pipelines that take runoff from streets directly to creeks, lagoons and the ocean. 

The city also accepted completion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting of the Buena Vista sewer pipeline project. The pipeline is part of the Vista/Carlsbad interceptor sewer system, which carries wastewater from Vista and Carlsbad to the Encina Water Pollution Control Facility on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad. The new line consists of two 4,200-foot-long sewer pipes that run from the Buena Vista lift station near the intersection of Jefferson Street and Marron Road, to a point just east of Interstate 5. The system is jointly owned by the cities of Carlsbad and Vista. The pipeline broke in 2007 causing a sewage spill. Although crews repaired the pipe quickly, an evaluation of the pipe’s condition found that it needed to be replaced. Carlsbad and Vista shared the project’s $4.36 million cost, based on their portions of the pipe’s ownership. Vista paid $3.91 million of the repair cost, and Carlsbad paid $450,000. CCL Contracting completed the work.

–City of Carlsbad


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