California Incline Reopens
Remodeled, Now Open!
The California incline was reopened on Thursday, September 1, after being closed back in April 2015.
The historic incline, which connects the Pacific Coast Highway and downtown Santa Monica, was used by 15,000 cars daily until its closure for a reconstruction to meet seismic standards, which changed significantly since its last renovation in the 1930s.
The project took 17 months and cost about $17 million, with close to 90 percent coming from federal funds. Santa Monica officials initially worked to secure federal funds to rebuild the incline in the early 1990s, but the 1994 Northridge earthquake put the project on hold.
According to the city's website, "The now upgraded and stronger bridge boasts a 16-foot-wide separated shared pedestrian/bicycle path." The new concrete bridge deck now "sits on 96 concrete piles drilled beneath the bluff's surface, supporting the shared bike and pedestrian path, and one lane for vehicles in both directions." The California Incline now "exceeds strength requirements and will serve more than just cars in a community that is all about transportation choice."
The opening festivities began with a Big Blue Bus rolling through a banner. The roadway was opened to bicyclists and pedestrians at 10 a.m. for a four-hour vehicle-free party, until vehicles were allowed at 5 p.m. The celebration included light refreshments, a historic photo exhibit and photo booth, music, and a Santa Monica library pop up.
Swee W, Torrance resident, California rides her skateboard on California incline during the Grand opening after a 17-month reconstruction project, in Santa Monica, California, September 1, 2016.
Santa Monica residents, and curious neighbors, came to explore the new roadway and the shared pedestrian and bicycle lane.
Bree, 27, and David Chung, 37, a married couple who live right near the California Incline were happy the construction was finally done. "The construction caused lots of traffic," said David. "We could smell construction in our apartment."
"It took us 15 minutes to detour," Bree said.
SaMo resident Belinda Casas, said it was "Amazing! And the help is very nice," after she went over the barrier separating the bike path and car road with the assistance of policeman.
Looking ahead, The Idaho Avenue Pedestrian Overcrossing, which crosses over the Incline to provide convenient access to the beach from Palisades Park, remains closed until its scheduled completion in late September.