MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — Following the vegetative destruction of the Springs fire, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has received $2.5 million in state emergency funds to help protect the PCH from falling rocks, gravel and debris.
Officials said a contractor has already begun to place temporary K-rails along the shoulder in locations between Malibu and Camarillo.
The contractor will also place rock fencing atop the K-rail in steeper slope areas to prevent sand, gravel and rocks from falling onto the road. Scientists believe the fire likely loosened the soil and burned vegetation that helps maintain the slope.
A Caltrans geotechnical engineer surveyed the area Saturday morning and determined that the slope is stable and landslides are not expected. In a few weeks, engineers will determine if further protection of the slope is necessary to prevent landslides during winter storms.
If storms predicted from Sunday – Tuesday are heavy enough to cause landslides, the highway may need to be closed again.
PCH re-opened last night just after 7:30 p.m. with the California Highway Patrol escorting motorists to ensure safe passage. Caltrans maintenance crews are still plowing the road to remove rocks and debris that continue to pool on the shoulder.
Motorists are advised to watch for Caltrans trucks, contractor crews and debris and reminded to drive carefully through the area or take U.S. Highway 101 as an alternate route.