A troublesome Torrance hillside being rebuilt after a 1986 landslide experienced a small slide Friday, but city officials said such an incident had been expected and is no cause for alarm.
Work crews arriving at the hillside between Via Corona and Vista Largo, near the Palos Verdes Estates border, Friday morning noticed cracks in the face of the hill. Workers said that at about 7:30 a.m. earth slowly fell away from the hilltop, leaving a chain link fence dangling and exposing the tops of 70-foot concrete pilings installed to bolster the hillside. A section of soil 150 feet wide and up to 20 feet deep and slid as far as an access road, which is halfway down the face of the hill.
In 1986, a major landslide at the site destroyed two expensive homes and left damage that will cost Torrance at least $5.2 million to repair. In April, a highly visible black plastic sheet used to protect the site was taken away so crews could begin a seven-month project of removing unstable earth that caused the landslide, replacing it with more cohesive soil and rebuilding the hillside.
As small rocks and sections of earth periodically skittered down the hill late Friday morning, Mayor Katy Geissert and City Engineer Richard Burt said some movement of earth had been expected as a result of the soil removal operation. They said the concrete pilings will prevent any major damage and will protect houses uphill. The nearest homes are on the other side of a cul de sac from the top of the slide.
New soil will be placed in the area within about 10 days, officials said.