Traffic resumed in both directions of Pacific Coast Highway today as crews worked to repair a water main rupture that opened up a sinkhole the size of a small car.
The second westbound lane of PCH and one eastbound lane were reopened after midnight, said Kerjon Lee of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, whose workers were attending to the repairs.
The water seen shooting into the air at 6:50 p.m. on PCH about one-fourth mile from Trancas Canyon Road was due to a break in a 16-inch steel pipe, Lee said. The resulting hole in the road was nine feet long and five feet wide at its largest, which was about the size of his Toyota Prius, he said.
The damage was where the shoulder of the road meets the far right eastbound lane, Lee said. Only one eastbound lane was reopened to leave room for workers.
Crews with heavy equipment and lights worked through the night to restore service to 50 single-family homes and 50 condominium units as soon as possible, he said.
“Public works has exposed the transmission line. A new section will be dropped and welded into place and should currently take 12 to 15 hours — that’s also the estimate of when water service should be returned to the 100 customers,” Lee said at 6:30 a.m.
He said it was not immediately known what caused the pipe, which was installed in 1966, to rupture.
The flooding prompted the sheriff’s department to close PCH and Broad Beach Road, south of PCH, at Trancas Canyon Road, said Lt. John Lecrivian of the sheriff’s Malibu/Lost Hills station.
The water flow was stopped at 9:30 p.m. Thursday and Broad Beach Road was reopened along with one westbound lane of PCH, Lecrivian said.
The second westbound lane and an eastbound lane were reopened after debris created by the geyser of water was cleared from the road, Lee said.