Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Publisher 

Two Years Later, California Ramp Nears Completion

$4 billion project paid for by feds

 

David Ganezer

View from the cliffs down the new California Incline.

Despite criticism from the local pundit class, including yours truly, Caltrans appears to be nearing completion of the California incline, reasonably on time and within its $4 billion budget.

The bridge deck appears to be entirely completed, save the striping. Two years have passed since they closed the bridge, and while the original time estimate was 18 months, they did say at the time that the project could easily require two years for completion.

The bridge was originally built to connect Ocean Avenue's cliffs with Pacific Coast Highway. It lacked the necessary earthquake safe structures, as required by current Federal standards. Which explains why the US Highway Department is paying for 85% of the project.

David Ganezer

A man walks in front of the soon to be opened entrance to the California Ramp

The ramp was in fact, built in the 1930's directly on dirt, without any bridge supporting structures. While it survived several major earthquakes, too many people use it daily to take chances.

On April 4, 2014, the California Incline was closed for seismic retrofitting and replacement.

On September 21, 2015, officials announced that the project was one third complete, and that the upper section concrete had been completely poured. It took over 100 concrete mixer trucks to provide concrete for the 250 foot long, 52 foot wide bridge.

Concrete on the 750 foot long bridge averages nearly 2 feet deep.

The new bridge includes pedestrian sidewalks, bike lanes and best of all, those travelling North on PCH will be able to turn right and go up the ramp (impossible before).

While the bridge portion is about 750 feet long, the entire length of the roadway is twice that-part of it will continue to be on a dirt ramp.

 

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