State Parks rips up Oceano Dunes concrete dust project

State Parks rips up Oceano Dunes concrete dust project

A contractor for California State Parks spent the last month pouring a concrete ramp at one of the vehicle entrances to the popular Oceano Dunes off-roading park as part of the effort to reduce dust. Now it’s all getting ripped up.

The project at the Grand Avenue entrance cost more than $68,000 and included the installation of a grooved surface meant to shake sand off cars as they exited the dunes.

But as Wednesday and Thursday dawned, the din of a jackhammer resonated around the entrance after State Parks ordered a do-over on the work.

The job performed by the contractor “did not meet standards,” so it all had to be torn up, removed and redone, State Parks spokesperson Adeline Yee told The Tribune.

“The project was originally estimated to be completed within six to eight weeks, and Parks continues to work with the contractor to complete the project within the eight-week timeframe,” Yee wrote in an emailed statement. “State Parks appreciates the public’s continued patience.”

The corrections by the contractor “should not impact the project cost,” Yee added.

While the work is underway, State Parks has closed the Grand Avenue entrance to all vehicle traffic, meaning park visitors are down to one entrance.

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A concrete ramp is ripped up at the Grand Avenue entrance to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Mackenzie Shuman [email protected]

In July, more than 30,150 cars entered the park. In August, a total of 22,120 cars entered the park, according to Kevin Pearce, Oceano Dunes district supervisor for State Parks.

A State Parks employee working Thursday morning at the Pier Avenue entrance, which remains open while the construction project at the other entrance is underway, said congestion into the park was not a problem.

The employee, who wished not to be named, said the lack of heavy traffic meant he had plenty of time to stand outside as he worked and watch the whales jump just offshore.

Matthew Bronson, city manager for Grover Beach, said the city had not seen traffic impacts from the ramp closure. However, he added that the city will monitor conditions during the upcoming holiday weekend and heatwave, which will likely draw more people out to the beach.

“This project to install a new roadway surface to reduce sand accumulation is a positive step in improving the condition of Grand Avenue where a significant amount of sand accumulates,” he added.

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The Grand Avenue vehicle access to Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area has been closed since Aug. 1 while California State Parks works to redo a sand track-out surface. Mackenzie Shuman [email protected]
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A worker uses heavy equipment to jackhammer a concrete ramp the Grand Avenue entrance to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area on Aug. 31, 2022. State Parks said the work was not up to standards and ordered it redone. Kathleen O’Neill

This story was originally published September 1, 2022 6:21 PM.

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State Parks rips up Oceano Dunes concrete dust project

Mackenzie Shuman primarily writes about Cal Poly, SLO County education and the environment for The Tribune. She’s originally from Monument, Colorado, and graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in May 2020. When not writing, Mackenzie spends time outside hiking, running and rock climbing.

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