A $4-million, 2,500-foot seawall designed to prevent big waves during winter storms from forcing the closure of Carlsbad Boulevard was approved Tuesday by the California Coastal Commission.

However, it’s uncertain when the massive structure will be built because the state’s revenue shortage has left little money for boating and waterway projects.

John Cahill, municipal projects manager for Carlsbad, said Tuesday the seawall is “the No. 1 state priority” for boating and waterway projects but has been unable to receive funding.

Still, the commission’s 9-0 vote for the seawall at least gave final administrative approval for the project, to extend from the jetties at the entrance of Aqua Hedionda Lagoon south to Tierra del Oro Street.


Damaging storms in 1982 and 1988 caused waves to reach Carlsbad Boulevard, which was widened to four lanes in 1989. The seawall would project major utility lines, bicycle lanes and parking along the boulevard, according to a commission report.

The concrete-capped, steel sheet pile seawall will go 20 feet into the ground with only 3 1/2 feet visible above ground. It will be just south of the city’s existing $3.5-million, half-mile-long seawall that ranges from 12 to 17 feet high and has a walkway on top.