Pacific Coast Highway begins to reopen after winter storm rock slides

Portions of PCH in Ventura County have reopened after damaging winter storm

About two-thirds of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County that closed after a rock slide swept across the road during a heavy winter rainstorm was reopened Tuesday, although the connection to Los Angeles County remains shut.

The highway from about Sycamore Canyon Road to Los Posas Road in Port Hueneme was reopened, but the section to the south from Sycamore to Yerba Buena Road won’t reopen until the end of February, Caltrans said in a release.

“Caltrans understands the inconvenience that motorists and businesses are facing while this closure is in place,” the agency said. “Until the highway has been determined safe for motorists, the highway must remain closed.”

The slopes that washed out in the late-November storm were scorched during the Springs fire in 2013. The blaze chewed through vegetation and trees that stabilize the rocky mountain and left it vulnerable to rain – which arrived in abundance in late November and December. The mudslide closed about nine miles of the highway.

Caltrans crews have rebuilt hundreds of feet of the highway’s shoulder and moved massive boulders into areas where the ground beneath the highway has washed away.

The repairs cost about $7 million and will be covered by the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency relief fund, according to Caltrans.

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