MALIBU (CBSLA) — Drivers taking Pacific Coast Highway will have plenty of time to enjoy the warm weather and beautiful scenery because five construction projects starting Monday are guaranteed to make it a slow, grinding commute.
Contractors are widening the road on PCH at three intersections near the Malibu Civic Center, and the elimination of traffic sensors has resulted in long red intervals for PCH traffic and has also backed up southbound traffic on Malibu Canyon Road at times.
Monday will be the first rush hour following spring break, and the past weeks’ relatively light traffic loads are expected to end. Malibu’s city manager planned to have engineers, flaggers and sheriff’s deputies assist in unclogging traffic jams.
Caltrans and the City of Malibu warned that one lane may be closed to traffic at times for the widening project between Cross Creek and Pepperdine University, where turn lanes are being added to serve a new development in the Civic Center area. That project is scheduled to be completed by June 1.
And if that wasn’t enough, one lane on PCH in each direction will be closed at 9 p.m. so a new pedestrian traffic signal can be installed east of the pier, in front of the Malibu Beach Inn.
In the Paradise Cove area, construction continues on a $5.7 million project to anchor a slumping section of PCH to solid rock. Although four lanes are open there, they have been narrowed significantly and a 30-mile-per hour speed limit is enforced, with sheriff’s deputies writing double fine tickets.
On top of that, Caltrans last week announced plans for rotating closures of various stretches of PCH lanes between the Civic Center and Zuma Beach, where scattered crumbling sections of pavement will be replaced. That eight mile stretch of PCH, between Cross Creek Road and Morning View Drive, is getting $2.2 million worth of repaving. The right lanes and shoulders of the road will be closed at times in either direction Tuesday through Friday.
The project will preserve and rehabilitate pavement.
Additionally, construction at Malibu High School has eliminated more than half of the school’s dropoff area, and 7:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. traffic jams on PCH at Zuma Beach were likely, a Malibu radio station reported.
What’s the rush? Malibu has a moratorium on street construction between Memorial Day and Labor Day — the months when all of Southern California flocks to its famous beaches.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)