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

By David Ganezer
Observer Publisher 

California Incline to Open Late Summer

Project has inconvenienced entire westside population for 2 years

 

Earthquake retrofitting nearly complete on the California Ramp in Santa Monica

From a City Press Release:

The new CA Incline is scheduled to reopen at the end of summer due to the reconstruction of the Pedestrian Overcrossing and Idaho Trail. The City originally planned to open the new structure to motorists and pedestrians prior to the Memorial Day weekend; however, the addition of the Pedestrian Overcrossing to the CA Incline reconstruction project has stretched the schedule to late summer. An official opening date will be announced before the end of July.

With the addition of the Pedestrian Overcrossing in November 2015, crews embarked on an ambitious schedule to open both projects to the public in early July, instead of Memorial Day weekend, when only the Incline was being constructed. However, the Overcrossing's unique design and structural complexities will require additional time to complete outside of the original schedule. Completing the Overcrossing before reopening the CA Incline ensures both the safety of the traveling public and construction crews. Building the two bridges concurrently is also ultimately the most expeditious and cost effective way to manage the project because it leverages the existing traffic closure and detours.

The CA Incline, an iconic symbol in Santa Monica, was last renovated in 1930. To meet current seismic standards, the bridge is being reconstructed and when complete, it will be replaced with a wider, safer bridge with improved bicycle and pedestrian access. The Overcrossing crosses over the Incline providing pedestrian access to the beach from Palisades Park.

In April, I wrote:

California Ramp to Reopen Soon

By David Ganezer, Publisher

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 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.

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.

Two year project inconvenienced 2 million people but is almost over.

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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