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MALIBU : Pacific Coast Highway Use Discouraged Due to Landslide, Bridge Repair : Roads: Traffic is limited at two sites affected by storms. All lanes over Lagoon expected to be open by end of June.

March 09, 1995|KATHLEEN KELLEHER

State transportation officials are asking drivers to avoid Pacific Coast Highway for the next couple of months while the Malibu Lagoon Bridge is rebuilt and tons of earth are removed from a landslide.

"We have two emergency contracts to finish these projects quickly, so if people could use alternate routes, it would ease Pacific Coast Highway traffic for those who must use the highway," Caltrans spokeswoman Margie Tiritilli said.

Workers with traffic flags are on the job around the clock in the $9.2-million project to rebuild the bridge, which was severely damaged during the Jan. 10 storm. The structure is intermittently closed because wet concrete is delivered to the site and must arrive before it hardens, Tiritilli said. The bridge is also closed occasionally for late-night deliveries of 50-foot-long steel pipes used in the project.

Temporary supports have replaced the eight concrete spans that provide the horizontal bracing for columns above the bridge, Tiritilli said.

The project's first phase, which will reopen all four traffic lanes, is expected to take 135 days and be completed by the end of June. For every day that work is done ahead of schedule, the contractor will receive a $50,000 bonus, Tiritilli said. The project's final phase is expected to take an additional 90 days and be finished by the end of September.

At the landslide, between Topanga Boulevard and Tuna Canyon Road, crews are working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily to remove an estimated 19,000 dump truck loads of dirt. The $1.1-million project is aimed at stabilizing a recurring landslide.

Two lanes of traffic in both directions are open at the slide, although they will be subject to brief closures as needed. The dirt is being removed to Portrero Canyon between Temescal Canyon and Chautauqua Boulevard.

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