The plastic is back on a steep slope above Newton Street in Torrance, where a landslide destroyed two homes 1 1/2 years ago. This time, the city hopes that the ground covering--now earth-toned, strongly stitched and durable--will not provoke the ridicule that the earlier covering did.
That light, shiny plastic--meant to ward off rains that never came last winter--eventually deteriorated into tatters flapping in the wind.
"We got a lot of objections to the first plastic that was put on," said Philip Tilden, city programs administrator who is coordinating slide repairs. "This will endure for a longer period of time and we chose a darker color. We had it stitched and covered the sandbags that hold it down. We made it as aesthetically pleasing as possible."
The new, $48,000 covering was put on to protect the hillside from winter rains after the city decided to postpone a permanent stabilization project until next spring. Tilden said the work will take seven months and "we did not want to run into the rainy season."
The program, estimated to cost between $500,000 and $1 million, will include replacing unstable soil and installing a drainage system. The city already has put in a well to take water out of the slope and has put in drainage at the bottom.
Tilden said the city has yet to receive one complaint about the new plastic. But, he added, "It was only completed last week."