By Alicia Banks
5:00 AM PST, December 4, 2013
Motorists are being asked to avoid Pacific Coast Highway near Point Mugu for much of Wednesday as crews fasten a rock fence along slopes overlooking the road.
Caltrans hired Santa Maria-based AIS Construction to complete the $4.75-million project’s second phase, requiring a helicopter to lift the 1,700-foot fence for installation, said Patrick Chandler, a Caltrans spokesman.
The work is scheduled from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. along Las Posas Road and north of Deer Creek Road in Ventura County.
Caltrans urged drivers to find alternate commuting routes, such as the 101 Freeway, or expect delays of 20 to 30 minutes on PCH, officials said in a news release. Flaggers will direct traffic flow during the rock mitigation.
The project comes a few months after a spring fire burned mesh that held rocks, debris and vegetation in place.
“Some rocks can get so much force and go over the barrier,” Chandler said. “We want to remove any rock hazards before any rain comes down where the rocks go into the roadway and hit a car, or anyone, and we’ll have to close down the roadway.”
Although Chandler couldn’t specify the size, a rock did roll onto the highway last week, striking a vehicle.
The first phase of the project took place days before Thanksgiving, when contract rock climbers scaled slopes along PCH near Mugu Rock. Climbers were tasked with locating hazardous rocks for possible removal.
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