Further bluff collapse beneath 320 Esplanade

Further bluff collapse beneath 320 Esplanade endangers more of the building.


  • Photo 1. The north of 330 Esplanade showing the cement patio tilted down and opened a gap next to the 330 Esplanade deck. The green recycling can is sitting on a level, undamaged part of the patio. This was taken at the fence between 330 Esplanade on the left, and 320 Esplanade on the right. (Click an image for a larger version.)
  • Photo 2: same direction as photo, but showing the brown roof of a shed in the top third of the image. Behind you can see the two-storey deck of 330 Esplanade still standing but now the corner pole is unsupported by the soil / sand of the bluff. The angle of the patio can easily be seen in its tilt down and to the right.
  • Photo 3: detail of photo 3.
  • Photo 4: this is the right side of the patio area, with 320 Esplanade just out of sight to the right.

4/15/2010 11:30 PM

Comprehensive, sobering report from KGO-TV 7 (ABC) More Erosion Threatens Pacifica condo. The building at risk, 320 Esplanade, is apartments not condos.

4/15/2010 6:00 PM

From KGO-TV 7 (ABC): More erosion threatens Pacifica condo (Wayne Freedman).

  • According to the KGO story Pacifica Building Official Doug Rider and City Manager Stephen Rhodes inspected new damage at 320 Esplanade this morning.  Reportedly, “the collapse took a deck with it, which in turn pulled reinforcing protective concrete from beneath the building next door.” As a result small cracks have now appeared in the building foundation, and Pacifica is considering red-tagging the whole building. The story also mentions some interesting details about the attempts to find funding for the work.
  • I took a look back there this evening and the entire poured concrete patio that spans the distance between the backs of 320 and 330 slid down the bluff one to two feet, and now tilts downward about 40 degrees. Folks that are familiar with that area will remember a 4′ or 4 1/2′ wooden railing along that patio… that railing is now lower than the walkway leading out to bluff between 320 and 330.
  • There is now open space between the patio and the buildings on either side, and the entire area looks very precarious. It was pretty shocking, and at this point it looks like that a significant portion of the top of the bluff collapsed.
  • There was no way for me to see the foundation of 320 Esplanade from safely (and legally!) behind the locked gate.
  • Asked about his assessment, Tony Fortunato, the project supervisor for the teams that made the emergency repairs behind the buildings, said “We can repair that. If the owner of 320 Esplanade had put the reinforcing concrete beneath his building, we wouldn’t have this problem, now.”
  • Fortunato is clearly one of the good guys in this saga from our perspective, but from what I could see of the patio damage this quote doesn’t make sense. It is hard to understand how the failure of the top of the bluff below the patio can be attributed to any work that was or was not done below a building 20 to 30 feet from the patio.
  • Depending on the extent of the damage to the base of the bluff caused by last week’s high surf, it is possible that this collapse was caused by ground water at the top of the bluff.
  • The KRON 4 TV Video below shows the damage, though it is a little hard to understand it. I’ll post some pictures I took there this evening if any of them come out.

4/15/2010 5:30 PM

From KRON 4 TV News Video Raw Video: Cliff Continues to Erode at Pacifica Apartment Complex (KRON4.com seems to be having trouble so this may not work. If it doesn’t, try the direct link to the file below.)

  • The following video was shot from the patio running behind 330 Esplanade. The “patio” is the tilted concrete. Across the patio is 320 Esplanade. 330 has already been entirely red-tagged and evacuated. Only the 6 apartments nearest this patio have been red-tagged in 320.
  • Link to video file (MP4 format, requires QuickTime)

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:


See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:


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