Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

North (West) PCH Slide Problems Require More Cleanup

• Wet Weather Forecasts Prompt Caution by Caltrans Crews •

BY ANNE SOBLE


A nearly 10-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway near the Ventura County line that had been closed since Dec. 18 tried to reopen Tuesday, but safety concerns shut it down again hours later.
A rockslide and about three feet of mud in some parts of the roadway had closed PCH from Yerba Buena Road to Las Posas Road, which serves as Malibu’s coastal route to points north, or northwest.
State Department of Transportation, aka Caltrans, crews have been cleaning up debris and removing loose boulders that appeared headed for the highway.
After being open until 5 p.m. on Dec. 28, Caltrans engineers determined that a projected strong mid-week storm and the weekend storm expected to follow might be too much for the saturated hillsides to handle.
Although the rain forecast for Wednesday proved to be less than anticipated, Caltrans is hedging its bets on the three or more days of consecutive precipitation forecast for the end of this week and the beginning of next.
Caution is now the watchword, and the stretch of highway will remain closed until further notice.

RAPPELLING—A Caltrans “mountaineer” maneuvers around a multi-ton boulder and prepares to send it down the hillside so it will no longer pose a danger to motorists on PCH.

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