Excavation for a 369-car, three-story parking structure at the Del Mar Highlands Town Center is in full swing, sending up to 40 semi-trucks daily onto the roadways of North County, according to a construction worker at the site.
On November 3 and 4, the two-trailer “belly dumper” trucks were traveling north on El Camino Real, east on Via de la Valle and out the Del Dios Highway, ending up somewhere in Escondido’s Harmony Grove area, about every ten minutes apart. Over the hilly, no-passing highway around Lake Hodges, the trucks, able to travel not much faster than 35 mph, backed up traffic behind them.
The trucks have been pulling in and out of the center’s big pit since September 25. “We probably have another four weeks to go,” said a construction supervisor with Lusardi Construction.
Where does the sand get dumped? “I don’t know,” said the supervisor. “It's up to the sand broker.” Sand broker? “The trucking company, Burns and Sons, sells the sand to whoever needs it,” he said. “When the trucks leave here, I have no idea where they take it. It could change each day. They might go up to Camp Pendleton, sometimes to the landfill....
“All I know is it costs us $1.50 per minute, per truck,” said the supervisor. The round-trip travel time to Harmony Grove is just over an hour, not including loading and dumping time.
The new parking structure for the center on El Camino Real at Del Mar Heights Road should be completed by January 2018. It's part of a $50 million renovation of the center that started in 2014.