Last year, Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills won congressional approval for the Army Corps of Engineers to study ways to combat landslides in the two cities. This week, Congress came up with the money as $250,000 for the study was included in the 1988 appropriations bill passed late Monday in the rush to adjourn for Christmas.
"It's here," said Rolling Hills Mayor Gordana Swanson. "We can look forward to beginning the investigative process."
The success was due in part to the two cities hiring a lobbyist who campaigned for a year to see that Congress backed its promise with the money to pay for it.
The study will begin in February or March and take one year, said Stephen Fine, coastal resources chief for the corps in Los Angeles.
4 Slides to be Studied
Engineers "will look at causes" of all the landslides and determine whether stabilizing the shoreline would help reduce the slides, he said. The slides, all in the same general area, are Portuguese Bend, Abalone Cove and Klondike Canyon in Rancho Palos Verdes and the Flying Triangle in Rolling Hills.
Underscoring the importance of the study to Rancho Palos Verdes, Councilman Mel Hughes called it "the last link" in the city's effort to fight the Portuguese Bend slide, which continually dumps debris into the ocean.
He said a two-year, $2-million project has "nearly stopped" upper portions of the slide but "total control" is not possible as long as wave action continues to undermine the shoreline.
"To provide ultimate permanent stabilization we have to deal with shoreline erosion problems," said Hughes, a member of the council's landslide committee.
Fine said the corps study is intended to determine whether there are feasible, cost-effective and environmentally acceptable ways to protect the shoreline. If there are, he said, a second phase--which the two cities would have to partially fund--would develop specific designs.
Hughes said results of the study could be recommendations for some kind of seawall. "The simplest thing may be to quarry rock from Catalina and bring it over in a barge and deposit it," he said.
Even though the Flying Triangle slide is uphill from the Portuguese Bend slide and away from the coastline, Rolling Hills City Manager Terrence L. Belanger said its continued movement could threaten work done on the coastline. "It is important that the potential effects or non-effects of all slide activity in that area be studied so that whatever is done at the shoreline has the certainty of lasting accomplishment," he said.