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Crews close Newport’s Back Bay Drive after rockslide

A motorist cruises along Back Bay Drive near Eastbluff Drive in 2014.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Newport’s scenic Back Bay Drive will remain largely closed for the next two weeks as crews clean up debris after a recent rockslide, the city announced Monday.

The multipurpose road will be fully closed on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and reopen for pedestrians and bicyclists on weekdays after 4 p.m. and on weekends. The road will be inaccessible to motor vehicles at all times.

The rockslide originated on a private parcel abutting the road between San Joaquin Hills Road and Eastbluff Drive North in late June. The city closed the upper section of the road at that time and started working with the property owner and a technical consultant to find a solution to stabilize the slope.

The 3-mile road, which hugs the eastern curve of the Back Bay, is prone to loose earth and rocks from the bluffs. A heavy rainstorm last year led to mudslides that partially closed the road.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced statewide restrictions Monday, closing all malls, indoor dining, bars, gyms, churches, hair salons, family entertainment, zoos and museums.

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