Press Release

Press Release: Sand Relocation Project Planned for Upper Great Highway

From SF Department of Public Works:


Southbound lanes on the western side of the roadway to be closed for up to seven weekdays

Starting Wednesday, June 16, San Francisco Public Works will begin the annual sand maintenance activities along the Great Highway.

A contractor will redistribute approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand, moving it from the side of the roadway toward the ocean. The aim is to reduce the likelihood of sand buildup on the Great Highway during windy weather. The sand intrusion has been especially pronounced this year due to unusually prolonged and heavy winds.

While the Great Highway has been closed to vehicular traffic during the global pandemic, it has been used for walking, biking and other recreational uses. During the sand relocation operation, people will be asked to use the northbound lanes on the east side of the Great Highway between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard and stay off the southbound lanes on the west side, when crews are in the area operating heavy equipment. The work will take place for up to seven weekdays, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In addition to the removal of sand at the seawall between Noriega Street and Santiago Street, the project will address the sand accumulation at Judah Street and Noriega Street. 

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. Monitors with the federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) have confirmed that the plovers have left Ocean Beach and that it is safe to begin relocating the sand. 

The work is being done in coordination with the GGNRA and under a special-use permit for activities that occur on federal parklands.

Public Works has hired Yerba Buena Engineering & Construction, Inc. to perform this work.

1 reply »

  1. So, I hope this Press Release means that The Great Highway will reopen after the sand is removed. Should be by June 23rd, since it was supposed to only be closed during the pandemic. San Francisco opened today June 15th. Please reopen The Great Highway, and all of the “slow streets”. It is not fun zig zagging thru neighborhoods to get to your destinations. You would think it would reopen as soon as possible since it is part of the “San Francisco 49 Mile Scenic Drive”. The adjacent street is not as “scenic”. San Francisco only has the 3-4 miles of ocean front that is The Great Highway. Having 2 miles of the only ocean front we have, closed for the last year, has been a hardship. There is a walking path adjacent to TGHighway, and bikes have always been able to use the path and the highway. So let’s open it up soon for cars to commute, enjoy the scenery, and to get to the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

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