The Best In The Westside

Looking Back at the California Incline Before It Disappears

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Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

Beginning Monday, the California Incline—the road/bridge that leads from PCH up to Ocean and California avenues in Santa Monica —will close for about a year so that it can be demolished, and so a new, seismically safer version of the structure can be built in the same spot. (The current Incline was built in the 1930s, and hasn’t really had any sort of upgrades since then.) The long-overdue$20-million project will make a new Incline that’s more than five-and-a-half feet wider than the old one; the new road will also have a 16-foot-wide protected lane for bike and pedestrian traffic, LA Magazine said last month.

The project is expected to create ” ‘saturation’ levels of traffic in Santa Monica Canyon,” says the LA Times; rerouting information can be found on the project’s site. But let’s not remember the California Incline for the horrible, year-long traffic caused by its slow demise; let’s remember it as it was in its early days—it began as an unpaved pedestrian path in 1905, says LA Magazine—or as it was in 1984, when O.J. ran on it carrying the Olympic Torch. Good times, California Incline. Good times.

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