A portion of the bluffs above Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica appears to be in danger of crashing down onto the roadway below, with a huge fissure seen splitting the cliffside.
The city will close some lanes of the highway Tuesday night for emergency repairs to stabilize and remove the problem area, which is near the Santa Monica Veterans Memorial and the Arizona Avenue Pedestrian Bridge over PCH, principal civil engineer Selim Eren said in a news release Monday.
Northbound lanes of PCH and the Moomat Ahiko Way on-ramp from Ocean Avenue will be closed starting at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. The westbound 10 Freeway through PCH at the California Incline will close at 2 a.m. Wednesday. All routes are scheduled to reopen by noon Wednesday. Detours will be in effect for the Wednesday morning commute around PCH, so travelers can expect some delays on Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, Ocean Avenue and the California Incline, according to the city.
Crews will use a large crane with a clamshell attachment to break away the damaged portion of the cliffside and haul it away in trucks.
The problem was first reported by photographer and studio executive Suzanne Yankovic. She shared a video on Instagram showing a large gap separating a section of the bluff.
“I noticed this crack from the bluffs, seems precarious fyi,” she wrote in her post. Yankovic, who is married to musician and parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic, posted the video July 13.
Yankovic and her friend, celebrity hairstylist Sean James, contacted Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath’s office for assistance. The county then contacted the city of Santa Monica, James wrote in an Instagram post Thursday that included an interview clip of him talking about the issue on KTLA-TV Channel 5.
“So surreal to see myself on the news today, talking about the giant rock on the PCH that my dear friend Suzanne Yankovic brought to my attention,” James wrote.
Santa Monica officials did not immediately respond to requests about when the city became aware of the fissure.