Just in time for summer, the fabled California Incline that connects Pacific Coast Highway and trendy downtown Santa Monica closed this morning so it can undergo a yearlong rehabilitation.
The roughly $20 million project will completely demolish the existing 1,400-foot roadway, including the 750-foot-long bridge, which will be replaced with a wider, more earthquake-safe structure.
According to the city, the existing bridge includes an 8-foot concrete slab that is supported by concrete transverse beams. The replacement bridge will be supported by pilings and will be 5 feet 8 inches wider. It will also include bike lanes and a sidewalk.
The north and south ends of the incline will again have three traffic lanes, with traffic signals on each end.
Federal funds are expected to cover nearly 90 percent of the project’s cost, according to the city.
During the closure, which is expected to last 12 to 13 months, motorists can travel between PCH and Ocean Avenue using the Moomat Ahiko Way ramp just south of the Santa Monica Pier. Motorists can also take the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, which transitions into PCH.