To try to prevent beach-goers from crossing the railroad tracks at illegal access points, the city will begin installation of new high-security fencing in the Pier Bowl area.
The City Council is scheduled to award a $40,000 contract tonight to Safeguards Technology Inc. of Hackensack, N.J., to remove the 15-year-old chain-link fence and replace it with a steel security fence running from the San Clemente Pier to the T Street Beach.
After the council awards the contract, the fence should go up within a month, said Dennis Roger Reed, the city's manager of beaches and parks.
Over the years, the old fence has been repeatedly vandalized by people who have ignored the legal beach access points along the railroad tracks and instead cut through or climbed over the fence, Reed said.
The city hopes that the new steel fence, which will be very difficult to cut, harder to climb and easier to repair than regular chain-link fences, will put an end to both the vandalism and a hazardous situation, Reed said.
"Our concern is trying to keep people off the track," Reed said. "It's a subtle way to say, 'If there's a fence here, don't cross here.' "
With the recent addition of Metrolink trains, which run more quietly than Amtrak and freight trains, beach-goers have been placing themselves at higher risk when they cross the railroad tracks at illegal points, Reed said.