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Agoura Hills | VALLEY FOCUS

Project Will Open New Stretch of Road

September 25, 1997|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Los Angeles County will undertake a road project next week to rehabilitate and resurface a never-opened stretch of Agoura Road. When complete by mid-November, the road will be an alternate artery through the hills connecting the cities of Agoura Hills and Calabasas.

The stretch of Agoura Road between Lost Hills and Liberty Canyon roads was built by a developer at the county's request in the late 1980s.

But legal disputes between the developer and the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District over a slope failure held up the opening until now.

In the current $253,105 project, administered by the county Department of Public Works, portions of the median curb and gutters will be replaced and some of the asphalt pavement will be resurfaced, county officials said Wednesday.

"It's something that's needed out there," said Joel Bellman, press deputy for county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. "It's aggravating to have a closed thoroughfare that can be used."

The water district began construction in June to bury pipes that had been placed above ground. With its completion, the county is expected to begin reconstruction the first week of October, and motorists will probably be able to use the road as soon as mid-November, Bellman said.

City officials from Calabasas and Agoura Hills said they are concerned about the slope stability in the area, but county and water district officials said they are certain the slope will hold.

Agoura Hills Mayor Fran Pavley said many residents in her city think the new road will make traffic worse in the area.

Pavley said most Agoura Hills residents would like to see the road used just for local traffic, but they realize it will become an alternate route for people traveling from Calabasas to Thousand Oaks.

"If it could somehow be a local road to facilitate traffic within city limits, fine," she said. "But I don't know how to get [Ventura] Freeway travelers to stay on the freeway."

As a concession to area residents, the county will maintain the width of the road to handle four lanes, but stripe it only for two lanes of traffic.

The other two lanes will be used to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians, Bellman said.

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