OCTA, Metrolink begin construction of catchment wall at Mariposa Point in San Clemente

Feb. 29, 2024
The 200-foot-long wall, which will stabilize the slope above the rail line, will be completed in mid-March with passenger rail service anticipated to return by late March or early April.

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and Metrolink team, along with contractor Condon-Johnson and Associates, began the construction of a catchment wall at Mariposa Point in San Clemente, Calif., that will protect the track from soil and debris from a privately owned slope that slid into the rail right of way in late January.   

The wall under construction at Mariposa Point is expected to stand between 10 and 15 feet above ground, about 200 feet in length and supported by steel beams placed 30 feet below ground. 

On Feb. 20, The California Transportation Commission awarded $7.2 million to OCTA for the construction of the catchment wall. The $7.2 million is in addition to a $2 million previous award from the state of California for cleanup and pre-construction activities at the site. That money was made available when Caltrans declared an official emergency. 

The wall is anticipated to be completed in mid-March, which will be followed by necessary track repairs. OCTA notes regular passenger rail service may begin as early as late March or early April. The schedule is subject to change. 

OCTA says the project area includes several challenging elements that may affect the construction schedule, including a large sewer trunk line, a major reclaimed water line and a fiber communications trunk line that service San Clemente and the region. 

The OCTA and Metrolink project team, which has been working to replace the plastic tarps on the site to protect the slope as much as possible from further saturation, will continue to inspect the slope and monitor for any additional slope movement.