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Work to Resume on California’s Last Ocean RV Park

October 7, 2009 by   - () Leave a Comment

ccspConstruction is expected to begin again by the end of the month at California’s Crystal Cove State Park, where a long-planned RV park and campground has been on hold since January, when the state ran out of bond money to fund it.

“We just got confirmation from the Department of Finance that the project is now fully funded,” District Park Supt. Ken Kramer said. “This was one of 5,000 projects that was halted and is one of the first to be restarted, after the successful sales of California bonds.”

The $10.5 million El Morro campground project was 40% complete when the economy crashed, bond values plummeted and the state could no longer write checks from bond sales to cover construction projects, according to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

Kramer said that, because the project has been halted for nearly a year, the campground is expected to open by the end of 2010. The original opening date would have been the beginning of 2010.

The 35-acre, ocean view campground at Crystal Cove is likely to be one of the last ocean campgrounds to ever be built in the state, and promises a huge economic boon to the region.

Kramer said the project was put at the top of the “restart” list because it was substantially complete and because “it will generate significant funds for the state when it opens.”

A meeting with the contractor, Los Angeles Engineering, is scheduled for this week.

Ironically, the struggling economy has helped keep restart costs low, Kramer added. “Bids came in much lower (than expected). The stars have aligned. We are very pleased to be able to bring back jobs to the area.”

The site will need to be cleaned up and some exposed structures replaced, but erosion is not a big problem, he said. The campground’s grading, utilities, sewer and water system, plus the foundations for restrooms and other infrastructure was completed when the project was shuttered Jan. 21 because the contractor could not be assured that bills would be paid by the state.

The campground and RV park replaces the El Morro Village mobile home park, which stood for more than 50 years at the location. The lessee of the site fought a protracted legal battle to stop the state from taking it over and turning it into a public facility.

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