Stretch of Pacific Coast Highway to intermittently shut as Caltrans removes rocks along coastal cliffs

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Planning to take the scenic route to your Thanksgiving destination up the coast Monday or Tuesday? You might want to avoid Route 1. 

Caltrans said Saturday that traffic will be stop-and-start up the Pacific Coast Highway (California Route 1) Monday and Tuesday as its workers rappel down cliffs in the area, removing rocks and boulders that could pose a threat to the roadway. 

Caltrans District 7 spokesman Patrick Chandler said the stretch of roadway will be shut down intermittently all day on both days for regular intervals as crews clear rocks.

"Our contractor and also some of our employees will be scaling hte rocks between Deer Creek and Las Posas Road and basically any rocks that are loose that pose a potential to slide down or fall on the roadway will be removed."  

Caltrans geologists have pointed out areas of the highway that could be in danger if high winds or rains hit the area, dislodging rocks that have become loose from the recent Springs Fire, Chandler said. 

"Back in December 2010, we had a pretty significant rainfall in the area," Chandler said. "We had a rockslide, which closed the roadway as well for a couple days."

As contractors and Caltrans employees rappel and dislodge the rocks, heavy equipment will scoop them up and remove them from the area, Chandler said. That process will require the agency to close the highway for stretches of 20-30 minutes at a time. 

At a later date, crews will use a helicopter to place netting over the slopes to keep the rocks at bay.

"This isn't just a winter precaution; those rock nets will be there permanently," Chandler said. "They're fastened essentially to the rocks on the slopeside."

The roadway, north of Malibu and just south of the Ventura County line, is an iconic setting along the California coast used in a number of films and commercials. 

Check a map of the closure area below:

PCH will be closed intermittently between Deer Creek to Las Posas roads


With contributions from Ashley Bailey

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