PCH jam to January

Construction on Pacific Coast Highway between the McClure Tunnel and the California Incline began Sunday night after a failed court battle by residents to block the project.

The project involves replacement of an earthquake-damaged sewer line beneath the westernmost lanes of PCH from the Santa Monica Pier to Chautauqua. Residents say lane closures and the switching off of a left-turn signal from the California Incline to southbound PCH will make it virtually impossible for them to back out of their driveways safely.

The group, which includes actor Donald Sutherland, filed for a temporary restraining order, but Judge David Yaffe denied the request Friday, saying the work would not block access to the homes. The residents are not giving up and have asked for a preliminary injunction against the project, which is scheduled to be heard Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, Caltrans and Santa Monica city officials say the work will proceed 24 hours a day, and that reduced speed limits will help residents exit their homes.

Construction between the McClure Tunnel and California Incline will continue until January. Caltrans officials say two lanes will be open in each direction at all times.

Malibu commuters familiar with the monumental traffic jams caused by natural disasters have worked out alternate routes. See chart, A12.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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