Storm repairs to close Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu overnight indefinitely

Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

LOS ANGELES — A six-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu will be closed indefinitely overnight because of storm damage that in stretches sheared off the roadway, officials said.

Strong winds, high surf and heavy rains drenched Southern California last week, causing flooding and mudslides in several areas. The Malibu area didn't face just wind and rain, but also waves that crashed onto PCH, at times reaching across the three-lane road.

The battering caused parts of the southbound lanes to collapse along the shoulder between mile markers 4.8 and 5.2. Chunks of pavement broke off onto the beach as waves and rain eroded the ground beneath the highway.

The nightly shutdown of the scenic route began Wednesday as Caltrans crews started to install K-rails along the southbound lanes and stabilize portions of the road eroded by high surf.

The highway will be closed at 6 p.m. nightly and reopen around 7 a.m. the next day.

Caltrans officials are also concerned about another storm approaching Southern California that could cause further road damage.


The National Weather Service expects Los Angeles County to get another soaking this weekend, starting with light rain Saturday night and growing heavier Sunday night and Monday. Rain could continue until Wednesday morning, according to the service.

It's still unclear how strong the approaching storm may be, said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Current forecasts predict that most of L.A. County will record between 2 and 4 inches of rain, he said.

Although the storm is expected to bring much less rain than last week's system, Kittell warned that hillsides are still soaked, meaning landslides and debris flows are still very possible with just a little additional rain.


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