Topanga Canyon to reopen this Sunday

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Topanga Canyon landslide. Photo courtesy Caltrans.

In an unanticipated turn of events Caltrans now says Topanga Canyon Blvd will reopen this Sunday, months before the state agency’s self-described schedule. The main thoroughfare linking the San Fernando Valley with Malibu has been closed from Pacific Coast Highway to Grand View since March 9 after a massive landslide blocked access. Earlier Caltrans estimated 5500 truckloads of dirt and mud would need to be cleared. Crews two weeks ago, cleared an access road to the top of the slide and this week trucks began hauling away tons of debris from the site.

The months long closure has been a disaster for area businesses, commuters, and residents worried about emergency escape routes in the event of a fire  Governor Newsom declared a state of emergency to help secure funds to clear Topanga. Before that, officials stated the slide wouldn’t be cleared until the fall. 

Apparently, when crews started clearing the slide this week they discovered they had overestimated its size. Workers so far have removed one-sixth of cubic yards of material they originally thought needed to be cleared. It was still a sizable slide, but Caltrans has been working 24/7 to remove it. When Topanga opens Sunday there may be flag men assistingdrivers making their way through and could cause some delays. The temporary detour through Tuna Canyon will remain available for commuters.