Inadequate Storm Drains to be Repaired in NorthWest Carlsbad

Drainages in parts of northwestern Carlsbad are inadequate because they date back to the 60's when much of the city was farmland and water infiltrated the soil back then instead of paved surfaces.

The City of Carlsbad will begin repairs on storm drains at four locations in northwestern Carlsbad next week, as the city continues to focus on preventing flooding during rainstorms. 

Carlsbad Associate Engineer Sherri Howard, who’s managing the northwest storm drain improvement project, said the work is part of a multi-year plan that uses a systematic approach to address the storm drain problems. The program is intended to bring old infrastructure up to today’s standards to protect property, the environment and public safety. Construction crews will be working at four locations until mid-October, making the following repairs:

  • Mountain View Avenue at Pacific Avenue. This location near the beach has had chronic drainage problems during rains. Crews will re-grade the road and install a gutter that will convey water across the street to an existing storm drain. This location has no sidewalks and the work does not include installation of a sidewalk.
  • Madison Street between Grand Avenue and Arbuckle Place. Storm water doesn’t drain correctly here because of low spots in the pavement. Underground utilities are close to the street surface at this location, preventing installation of an underground pipe that would tie into the existing storm drain system. Crews will remove and replace the sidewalk, curb and gutter, then re-grade and replace them to get runoff to drain in the right direction.
  • Roosevelt Street between Beech and Grand avenues. This is the next phase in improving drainage on Roosevelt, and entails installation of 245 feet of reinforced concrete pipe below the road surface, and connection to the existing storm drain system. It also includes installation of two curb inlets and a cleanout.
  • Harrison Street south of Chinquapin Avenue. This is a flat, low-lying area on the north shore of Agua Hedionda Lagoon. It has drainage problems where some properties are at a higher elevation than their neighbors, causing storm water to pool on private property. Improvements here include removing the existing concrete curb and gutter and re-grading half the street and sidewalk over a 475-foot distance to correct the elevation and improve flow. A new concrete curb, gutter and sidewalk will take the place of the old ones.

The work will occur in stages, with minimal impacts on traffic. Residents will be notified before work begins along their street, and flag people will direct traffic around work if lane closures are necessary. 

 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.

 “We’re not just fixing problems as they come up, but we’ve drawn up a comprehensive plan to improve drainage throughout northwestern Carlsbad,” Howard said. The city has prioritized drainage systems to repair based on need, and each year the City Council appropriates funding to work down the list. And if an old section of pipe gives way unexpectedly, work crews are dispatched to make immediate repairs. The contract for the repairs was awarded to Palm Engineering Construction Co., in the amount of $180,000. Funding is through the City of Carlsbad General Fund and the State of California Gas Tax Funds. The City of Carlsbad Construction Management and Inspections team will supervise the work. 

–Press Release by the


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