Angeles Crest Highway reopens

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From the La Cañada Valley Sun

Angeles Crest Highway (State Highway 2), which has been closed between La Cañada Flintridge and Wrightwood since late August due to damage sustained during the Station fire, reopened to traffic on Monday morning.

The fire, which burned more than 160,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest, damaged thousands of feet of guard rail and pavement, rendering the highway impassable. Dan Freeman, director of maintenance for Caltrans District 7, said Caltrans and Los Angeles County Public Works crews labored for two months to clear debris basins and storm drains, re-strip roads and replaced guardrails, road signs and road markers The crews also implemented some mitigating measure to try and protect Angeles Crest Highway from landslides, he added.

“Caltrans has been working in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, U.S. Forest Service, California High Patrol and several other entities to ensure that the repairs to the Angeles Crest Highway are safe and seamless,” Freeman said.

The reopening of the highway, however, is tentative at best. Geological experts at the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey have warned repeatedly that the conditions in the Angeles National Forest — namely charred soil and steep slopes — are ripe for massive and dangerous mudslides.

A brief but intense rainstorm on Nov. 12 sent mud and water pouring down into the Paradise Valley neighborhood of La Cañada Flintridge, seriously damaging six homes.

On Monday, the reopening of Angeles Crest was delayed slightly while crews cleared debris from the roadway, the result of a small rock slide. Motorcyclists, eager to visit a favorite local route, described having to slowly weave their way through debris.

For more of this story, read here.

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Written by Megan O'Neil

November 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm

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