Big storms bring big problems to Leucadia. Flooding, and lots of it. Over two miles of Highway 101 and the businesses that are on it are in a natural drainage swale and they suffer the majority of flooding. The highway sits low in the corridor, with the higher ground to the east, across the train tracks, and higher bluff tops to the west.
In 2001, the City paid $4 million to lay 2 miles of storm drain parallel to the Highway on its east side. Although this alleviated some of the flooding, it did not fix the area-wide problems, as seen in the photos below.
This past August, the City Council voted to try again. This time they hired a consultant to create the Leucadia Area Watershed Master Plan, at a cost of almost half a million dollars. This plan should define the problem and suggest solutions. Then the City will decide, once again, how to fix the drainage and what those costs will be.
City officials said they are in a hurry to get the Watershed Plan so they can incorporate the solutions into the Leucadia Streetscape design, a controversial highway improvement plan that has doubled in projected costs and is years behind schedule.