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SANTA PAULA : Road Reopens After Removal of Slide Debris

South Mountain Road near Santa Paula was reopened Tuesday after work crews cleared the last of an estimated 60,000 cubic yards of rock and earth dumped by a landslide in September.

W. Butch Britt, Ventura County deputy public works director, said the last of the debris was removed and the road reopened to motorists about noon.

“We are very glad to have been able to get the road back open,” Britt said. “It took some juggling (of finances), but we were able to do it.”

With the road closed, residents living east of the slide were forced to make a 30-minute detour through Fillmore to reach Santa Paula. Britt said about 1,000 motorists a day used the route.

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So the county Board of Supervisors ordered that the road be reopened promptly, even though the work forced a one-year delay in the replacement of a bridge near Camarillo State Hospital.

“The good news is that we beat the weather and the actual cost of the project is about $30,000 cheaper than we originally thought it would be,” Britt said.

Britt said Goleta-based Banner Construction Inc. will earn about $100,000 for the 10-week job.

County analysts said the road is located next to an unstable mass of rock and earth, and that another slide could be triggered at any time. A slide also closed the roadway in 1993.

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