Topanga Canyon Boulevard Reopens Early on Sunday After Landslide Closure

State Route 27 Reopened Three Months Ahead of Schedule

As Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday State Route 27, also known as Topanga Canyon Boulevard, reopened on Sunday, June 2, three months earlier than anticipated after a landslide closed the road in March.

“I cannot overstate just how important it has been for the state and everyone involved to see Topanga Canyon Boulevard open as quickly and as safely as possible,” said Governor Newsom. “Thanks to the diligent efforts by the state along with crews assisting on the ground and the support of locals, this repair work has exceeded all our expectations by opening months ahead of initial estimates.”

Crews have worked around the clock to remove debris and repair damage, allowing for the safe and swift reopening of both lanes. Initially, Caltrans had projected that the closure would last until September. The reopening will include one-lane traffic control during off-peak hours using flaggers as emergency repairs continue. The closure had disrupted the lives of canyon residents, visitors, and beachgoers.

“The incredible work of Caltrans geotechnical and construction engineers and geologists and the contractor has returned a vital connection for this community,” said Caltrans Director Tony Tavares. “I thank Governor Newsom, Senator Ben Allen, Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, and our local partners for their unwavering support, the residents and businesses for their patience, and the crews for reopening the roadway as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin also expressed gratitude, highlighting the significant disruption caused by the closure since March 9. “The closure created considerable hardships for the residents of Topanga, caused commutes to be extended for sometimes hours, and posed significant public safety threats in the event Topanga residents needed to evacuate,” she said. “I want to commend all those responsible for the quick reopening of this critical route.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath praised the state and county coordination that led to the early partial reopening. “Governor Newsom has delivered the resources necessary for 24/7 operations that have led to this early partial reopening. As summer kicks off, this is welcome news, and we know the work will continue at the same speed for a full reopening.”

The March 9 landslide had engulfed both lanes of State Route 27, cutting off access for canyon residents and travelers heading to Pacific Coast Highway/State Route 1. Crews removed approximately 15,000 cubic yards of material, which was repurposed for Ventura County farmers, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, and an art installation in downtown Los Angeles near the State Historic Park.

Caltrans revised its original estimate of 50,000 to 90,000 cubic yards of material after a geotechnical report determined the slide was shallower than initially thought. No anomalies in the soil were encountered during removal, which facilitated the expedited reopening.

Crews built an access road adjacent to the slide, using a Spider Excavator to push down materials from the top and load them into Super-10 trucks with a long-reach excavator. These trucks then transported the dirt and rocks to farms, county storage locations, and the art installation.

With the slope stabilized and debris removed, geotechnical engineers and geologists will continue to monitor the site for any movement. They may recommend a cable mesh drapery system to prevent any sloughing of remaining loose materials and planting native seeds to further stabilize the slope.

On May 3, Governor Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to help secure federal funding to repair damage to roads battered during March storms, including State Route 27/Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

in News
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