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Santa Monica's California Incline Set To Open Before Labor Day

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The old California Incline (Photo by Denise Taylor via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The California Incline, the old, elevated bridge in Santa Monica that connects Ocean and California Avenues above the Pacific Coast Highway, is set to reopen in early September after having been closed for reconstruction since April of last year. A press release from the City of Santa Monica says that the roadway between Wilshire Boulevard and Washington Avenue will be open again on Friday, September 2. The Santa Monica Mirror notes that the Incline was originally set to reopen before Memorial Day, but the addition of the Idaho Trail Pedestrian Overcrossing pushed back the opening date.

Reconstructing the roadway was necessary to catch up to current seismic standards. The old road (built in the 1930s) was demolished, and in its place, a wider, safer bridge is being constructed over the same route, and will now feature wide sidewalks and bike lanes. Additionally, the overcrossing traverses over the Incline, which will allow for pedestrian access to the beach from Palisades Park.

The Incline has been taking some pretty cool photos tracking the progress of the $20-million project. From overhead, it looks like a nautilus shell!

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And from here, it almost looks like they're building a roller coaster:

As reported last year, at least 13,000 cars used the Incline every day, which prompted worries that traffic on the Westside would get even worse. Any disruptions related to the California Incline closure will all be over in a few months, and there will be a brand spanking new structure on which to sit in traffic. At least the views are nice. In the meantime, if you're in the area and smell something funky, don't be alarmed: it's probably just polyresin.

Curbed has some cool old photos of the California Incline from back in the day. And you might remember that one time O.J. Simpson ran up the Incline, carrying the Olympic torch.