As we approach the Father’s Day Car Show this Sunday at Julliard Park, I am reminded of my old pal Bill Magee. Bill had owned a crane business until he sold it several years ago. Fred Stoke will be at the Car Show Sunday and he knew Bill very well. Bill loved cars, and would attend the Car Show regularly.
As I was thinking of my buddy who passed about one year ago, I also thought of his house at the Sonoma Coast. So I am going to write a bit about history thanks to Bill! link for views of homes.
Many of us remember the stretch of Highway 1 out near Gleason Beach in Sonoma County as not being right on a cliff as it is now due to erosion from the Pacific Ocean. There were some 21 homes built on this stretch of Hwy 1 back in the 60’s and 70’s, and not many remain. Despite expensive attempts by homeowners to drill piers, install cable tiebacks, and do extensive erosion control, the relentless beating of the cliffs by the Pacific Ocean has made the cliff move some 30-50’ over the past 35 years or so.
About two years ago, the late – great Bill Magee invited me out to his house that was at the northern end of this cliff side section of Hwy 1. His immediate neighbor to the South of him had their house tagged as uninhabitable and it was slowly (or quickly depending on your perspective) falling into the Ocean. Bill’s house was built on pretty solid rock, so it was holding on to its foundation and Bill was using it as a vacation rental for lucky folks that had a sense of “adventure”. I spent the night out there and remember when a wave hit the cliffs below, you could feel the shaking in the house (solid rock my foot!!). It was beautiful, it was wild, and it was scenic.
Interestingly, Bill Magee showed me some photos of what the cliff line looked like in the 1970’s. The cliff had moved in some places well over 60 feet from erosion. This despite the best efforts of lots of real smart people building seawalls and drilling caissons as well as installing cables and literally tying their houses back to rock anchors they had drilled into the rock. Nothing works forever. I think of the 21 homes out there, only 7 are still there today and probably only 2-3 are safe.
Caltrans has also spent considerable monies on trying to stabilize this section of Hwy 1 over the last few decades. Caltrans apparently has had their fill of trying to “patch and hold” the roadway as there are now plans to move a major section of the Hwy 1 inland to get the road out of harm’s way.
Here are some links to describe what Caltrans has in mind for this stretch of Hwy 1 that is currently down to 1 lane and even that is tenuous. link
Caltrans held a Town Hall meeting recently to hear input from the public and the slides from that meeting are included here for your pleasure– link
And finally, the actual project itself should be fully designed in 2019 and coming out to Bid at some point in the near (neat in Caltrans years is like “dog years”, I know) future. link
So keep your eyes open for this historic project and keep your eyes open for the stretch of history that will soon be lost to the Pacific Ocean. It will look far differently than it does today when we drive that stretch in about 5 years!!
That’s All Folks!
That’s All Folks