Great Highway sand relation work extended to Saturday

Work on the annual relocation of sand from Great Highway in San Francisco has been extended to Saturday "due to an unusually large accumulation," the city's Public Works Department announced.

Work had been scheduled for weekdays, but the added day is needed to complete the project and contractor Yerba Buena Engineering & Construction Inc. will be doing removal from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Work began Monday to redistribute some 18,000 cubic yards of sand from the side of the roadway toward the ocean to reduce buildup on the highway in windy conditions.

Along with removing sand at the seawall between Noriega Street and Santiago Street, the project will work on accumulation at Judah Street.

The Great Highway is currently closed to motor traffic, but open as a walking and bicycling promenade during the novel coronavirus shelter order. During the removal, Public Works officials are asking users to avoid the southbound lanes being used by earth-moving equipment.

"Public Works has a small window to perform the annual work; it must be timed to make sure crews do not disturb the Snowy Western Plover, a small shorebird that is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act," the department said in an announcement. "The plovers can be found at Ocean Beach about 10 months out of the year but take off in the spring or early summer to nest in other coastal areas and inland salt flats. Monitors with the federal Golden Gate National Recreation Area have confirmed that the plovers have left Ocean Beach and that it is safe to begin relocating the sand."

The project is done in coordination with the GGNRA under a special-use permit for activities that occur on federal parklands.