LA HABRA (CBSLA) — A key shortcut between the western San Gabriel Valley and north Orange County could be shut down for up to a year after a landslide was discovered shortly after major storms inundated the area this winter.
Hacienda Road was first shut down between Skyline Drive and Canada Sombre on March 5 following a report that found that the road was sinking due to an ongoing landslide. Engineers say the road has so far sunk about eight and a half inches, and the road has been closed because it is considered unsafe for vehicular traffic.
“I was surprised, I was shocked,” delivery man Rick Collins said. “I’ll let my boss know about this. All the other drivers are gonna come here and be shocked also.”
Record rainfall this winter caused major damage throughout Southern California, especially in wildfire-scarred areas like Malibu and Lake Elsinore. But La Habra and La Habra Heights, where the street closure is located, has also been affected with a sinkhole opening up in a condominium complex in January, and now a landslide undermining Hacienda Road.
The geotechnical report’s repair recommendations include a 100-foot-long retaining wall be built along the east edge of the road. City officials project Hacienda Road could be closed up to a year to excavate and stabilize the portion of the road that is sliding.
Repairs to Hacienda Road could cost between $3 million and $5 million, which would essentially wipe out La Habra’s reserves, according to the Whittier Daily News. The city is seeking financial assistance from county, state and federal resources to help pay for the repairs.
Hacienda Road, which is estimated to be used by 30,000 drivers daily, is a frequently used shortcut for residents in La Habra and Whittier to get to and from Hacienda Heights and neighboring San Gabriel Valley communities. Drivers ay the road closure could extend their commutes at least an hour, but one student seems to have found a workaround.
“It’s a lot faster now to ride my bike to school now, with the road closed,” he said.