Public Works Addressed Westward Beach, Measure R, and Measure M projects

Assistant Public Works Director Troy Spayd said the department would return with alternative designs for the Westward Beach project. Photo by Samantha Bravo

DuBoux shares difficulties in getting Caltrans to respond to public maintenance

During the Public Works Commission, Regular meeting last week, Public Works Director Rob Duboux provided an update from the Public Works Commission & Public Safety Commission Joint Special Meeting on Jan. 20 on the Westward Beach, Measure R, and Measure M projects. 

“I know Councilmember Bruce Silverstein made a comment and asked me to take Lance Simmens ultimate design, and I like that,” Duboux said. “There are a lot of funding opportunities, so beyond Measure R and Measure M, there are a lot of funding opportunities.”

In regards to the city maintenance, Public Works Superintendent Arthur Aladjadjian said they had reached out to the acting deputy district for Caltrans for the maintenance on the water and mud that washed down from Pacific Coast Highway to Bay Shore Drive.

“I’m frustrated with the lack of response,” Aladjadjian said. “They assured me that they have several staff looking into it and are providing me an update. I have sent them several photos and different diagrams trying to help them identify what the issue is, so I’ll keep on it.”

Commissioner James Palmer referenced the front page of The Malibu Times on Jan. 13 and said there was a lot of water that flowed down the hillside on Bay Shore Drive, which caused the erosion that broke the pipe on Malibu Road.

Aladjadjian said they have engineers following up on the items.

“I appreciate it very much; I’m really happy someone is finally paying attention to this issue,” Palmer said. 

DuBoux said it has been difficult trying to get Caltrans to respond to public maintenance. 

Commissioner Wade Major asked if there would be a solution to have a better relationship with Caltrans to make DuBoux’s job easier when asking for quicker responses to city maintenance. 

“I think they have the best interest in this, and they want to get this kind of pressure though because it’s going to relieve a lot of pressure on them because they get a lot of pressure, especially when their PSPS goes out if it’s underground,” DuBoux said.

For commissioners’ updates, Palmer said the joint meeting for Public Works was successful in public response, saying all of the comments were against the project.

“I couldn’t find one that was fourth, so this is a delegate balance that the city, public works, public safety, is going to have to deal with as far as the communities concerns with their input with this project,” Palmer said. “It’s not going to be easy, but judging from the comments, it wasn’t a project that the residents wanted.”

Major also said he was surprised at the amount of speakers and social media posts that were opposed.

Simmens said the speakers opposed to the project during that meeting was a coordinated effort. 

“I think you rarely get people who support stuff; you usually get the loudest from the people that oppose,” Simmens said. “And to the extent, I thought we made abundantly clear that the balancing act had to be between public safety and environmental concerns, and I think we’re proceeding in a way we’re going modify the improvement project in a way which is not going to satisfy everybody, but that’s the line we’re going to walk here.”

Assistant Public Works Director Troy Spayd said the department would return with alternative designs for the Westward Beach project.