Iconic California Incline reopens to westside commuters, beachgoers

The iconic California Incline, the picturesque ramp connecting Pacific Coast Highway and trendy downtown Santa Monica, will reopen Thursday after undergoing a $20 million tear-down and rebuild designed to make the roadway wider, safer and less susceptible to earthquakes.

The project, the cost of which was largely covered by federal funds, took 16 months to complete, and its closure had a ripple-effect that often snarled traffic throughout downtown Santa Monica and forced motorists to divert
to the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and PCH.

Construction crews demolished the 1,400-foot, 1930s-vintage roadway, including the 750-foot-long bridge, and replaced it with a wider, more earthquake-safe structure.

According to the city, the previous bridge included an 8-foot concrete slab that was supported by concrete transverse beams. The replacement bridge is supported by pilings and is 5 feet 8 inches wider. It also includes bike lanes and a sidewalk.

The north and south ends of the incline have three traffic lanes, with traffic signals on each end.

A ceremony to mark the reopening will be held at 9 a.m. today, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people will be invited to explore the new roadway on foot or by bike. The roadway will open to traffic at 5 p.m.

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