Re: your April 9 article, â€śSurfers Point project moves forwardâ€?:
I am a retired registered civil engineer in the states of Michigan, Ohio and Florida. I have had vast experience in designing, building and maintaining roads, bridges, parks and buildings. Therefore, I must take serious issue with the Surfers Point project as currently envisioned by the City of Ventura.
First of all, the initial project built more than 10 years ago was flawed from the start, as there was no riprap, cobblestone or other means provided to protect the new bike path and parking lot. Any competent engineer would have known that erosion would take place and undermine the bike path as well as the parking lot in due time â€” which it has.
Second, the proposal to move the bike path 65 feet into the existing parking lot is a bad idea for a number of reasons:
First, the general public needs more parking spaces at the beach â€” not fewer.
Second, to create more beaches doesnâ€™t make sense, as the existing beach is not maintained now and is an eyesore and embarrassment to the citizens of Ventura and should be an embarrassment to the city and state as well.
Third, the projected cost of the proposed boondoggle is estimated at $5 million and probably will cost much more than that before the project is completed. Cost overruns are very common in Ventura, and project costs are frequently underestimated.
Fourth, Iâ€™m very confident that the existing bike path and parking lot could be repaired in their present location, and riprap or cobblestones provided for erosion protection, for 20 percent of the projected cost â€” probably for less than $1 million.
Fifth, to claim that the California Coastal Commission will not let the existing site be repaired and protected with erosion control is simply not the case. All along the California coast, from San Diego to Northern California, you can find example after example where permanent erosion controls have been placed at the waterâ€™s edge to protect bike paths, sidewalks, parking lots and buildings. Therefore, it takes someone with experience, leadership and competence to stand up to the Coastal Commission and the state and present a reasonable, well-engineered plan that will restore the existing bike path and parking lot and provide for the necessary erosion control that should have been there in the first place.
Itâ€™s too bad that in todayâ€™s society no one is held accountable. Therefore, bad engineering decisions go without any consequences. Itâ€™s time for leadership from Ventura and a reasonable solution that is not going to cost the taxpayers $5 million or more and result in less parking than we now have. The damage done along the bike path has been ongoing for 10 years or more with nothing done to protect the project from further damage. I, as well as many Ventura taxpayers, find this totally irresponsible.
â€” Fred E. Elwood, P.E., Ventura