Transportation

Great Highway sand relocation project starts

Great Highway covered with sand
Mark Prado

Annual sand maintenance activities along the Great Highway are underway as crews will move about 30,000 cubic yards of sand from the side of the roadway toward the ocean, according to the San Francisco Public Works Department

The sand intrusion has been especially pronounced this year due to unusually prolonged and heavy winds. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of continual sand buildup on the Great Highway during windy weather, the department said.

The Great Highway has been closed recently to vehicular traffic from Friday afternoons through the weekend to allow for walking, biking and other recreational uses. Similarly, MTC is involved in helping cities think about how they can use their streets and sidewalks more creatively — to serve more people and more purposes.

The sand work will take place for up to seven weeks, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Public Works has a small window to perform the annual work; it must be timed to make sure crews do not disturb the Western Snowy Plover, a small shorebird that is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The plovers can be found at Ocean Beach about 10 months out of the year but take off in the spring or early summer to nest in other coastal areas and inland salt flats.