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Pacific Coast Highway Could Remain Closed Until Thursday

March 10, 1998

Sheriff's deputies said it could take until Thursday to clean up a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu that was closed over the weekend because of rockslides and mudslides.

Bulldozers on Monday cleared away parts of the cliff side softened by February's heavy rains, sending even more debris onto a covered roadway--an effort to forestall future slides, Caltrans officials said.

The state transportation agency closed the area between Las Flores Canyon Road and Topanga Canyon Boulevard on Saturday when 60,000 cubic yards of earth fell onto the highway, said Pat Reid, a Caltrans spokeswoman.

Cleanup efforts were further hampered Sunday, when an additional 40,000 cubic yards of dirt and debris fell, Reid said.

The second slide prompted Caltrans to urge a voluntary evacuation of residents living across the highway from the slide, Reid said. Most of those who left, however, returned Sunday evening.

Traffic through the slide area is restricted to residents with proper identification, Reid said. Detours are sending other drivers through various canyon roads and onto the Ventura Freeway.

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