Lawmakers said the closure of the rail line has brought attention to the growing threat of coastal erosion.
ORANGE COUNTY (KABC) -- A scenic and popular passenger train route between Irvine and Oceanside will fully resume service next week after months of emergency work in San Clemente to stabilize a hillside on one side of the railroad track and coastal erosion on the other side.
California Representative Mike Levin said the closure of the rail line has brought attention to the growing threat of coastal erosion.
"It really is only a matter of time before we're going to face another closure, another erosion-related closure, so that's why we have to do everything we can, not just to fix things in the near term, but to fix them for the long term," he said.
Brett Sanders, a civil and environmental engineering professor at UC Irvine, said climate change and human activity are starving beaches from sand supply, which is causing the coastal buffers to disappear and could impact railroad tracks along the coast.
"Taking action to restore natural levels of sand is now crucial for the southern Orange County coast," Sanders said.
In addition, Levin is requesting a study be conducted that would look at rail relocation in Orange County spanning 11 miles. However, he said federal investment is needed.
Amit Rose, administrator for the Federal Railroad Administration, said funding from President Joe Biden's $66 billion infrastructure law could help address the issue.
"We need to have those plans, those studies completed," Rose said. "Right now, I think for me to make that judgment right now is a bit premature but again, that's where the community coming together, Southern California coming together, ultimately the state, we're going wait for those solutions."
Local, state and federal agencies said they all have to work together to come up with a long-term solution to the erosion problem.
Amtrak's Surfliner and Metrolink trains will resume their full schedule on Monday, April 17.