KBUU News Fri Oct 6: State Will Scrape Out Zuma, City Says – Caltrans Rushes To Beat Oct. 31 Deadline At Trance Bridge – City VOPs Write Astounding Amount Of Parking Tickets

Written by on October 6, 2023

Surf’s Up For Longboard Contest – Saturday At First Point

The world long boarding competition is on for Saturday in Malibu.

All this week … the world’s 16 best longbaorders have been on call to get to Malibu for the contest … at First Point … Surfrider beach.

Race organizers had called it off this week … “due to a lack of contestable conditions.”

“It’s On Saturday morning at 7,” the web site says today.


Caltrans Plans To Scrape Out Zuma Creek Underpass, Reopen Beach Access Loop

Caltrans is planning to clear out accumulated rocks and gravel in the Zuma Creek underpass … more than a year after the creek changed course and flooded the roadway down there.

The city announced this week … that the state has begun seeking permits to get the job done. 

Zuma Creek has overflowed out of its stream bed as the rocks have raised the level of it. 

The creek is still flowing … unusual for this time of year. 

And now it has formed a pool two feet deep over the concrete apron traditionally used as an entrance to the Zuma Beach parking lot.

That underpass is also used by motorists trying to cross under PCH by motorists coming up Westward Beach Road … avoiding a perilous left turn from a stop sign.

Public safety commissioner Brian Merrick says the underpass needs to be cleared.


“I think that it’s critical to have that open. It’s one of the most dangerous intersections on PCH with people not able to go underneath and now turning into cross traffic at high speeds north or trying to turn north out of the Zuma parking lot”

Merrick lives near there … and he says the flooded underpass is the fault of foolish actions by L A County Department of beaches and Harbors workers.

He says they have bulldozed sand and dirt that occasionally covers the underrpass concrete into the creek bed … thus raising the creek bed’s level.

Getting the water out from the underpass roadway means lowering the level of the creek bed next to it.

And that will almost certainly run afoul of federal and state laws against disturbing fish habitat.

A rumor that endangered tidewater gobies live in their has been debunked.

But Zuma Creek is prime steelhead salmon habitat … that fish is federally protected … and its potential habitat is federally protected as well.

The safety problem on PCH at Zuma Creek is the confusing series of very short turn lanes … side roads and the lack of a signal at Westward beach … at the bottom of a long PCH hill.

The problem has been ignored by the city … county and state for decades.

Six years ago … the L A County sheriff s office issued a traffic safety report … recommending that Westward Beach Road get a bridge across Zuma Creek to connect to the traffic light at Busch Drive.

That study was promptly filed away and forgotten.

And it would take years to find money and build the new bridge.

In the meantime … the salmon habitat may have to get bulldozed … to solve a 75 year old traffic design mess on PCH.


Caltrans Faces Oct 31 Deadline To Demolish Old Bridge At Trancas

And that bringing us to Trancas Creek … where Caltrans is entering Year Four of a two year project to build a new bridge.

This time … the construction plan has been delayed by … you guessed it … water under the bridge. 

Caltrans did not have plans to tear down the old bridge over a full lagoon … as the lagoon usually dries out every summer.

Not this year.

The state needs to shift traffic over to the new bridge and tear down the old bridge by the end of this month … again … because of fish.

But the late discovery of a natural gas line on the old bridge … and the need to relocate it to the new bridge … has meant that the brand new pavement at the new bridge had to be ripped up for relocation of the pipe.

Caltrans is now .. again … up against a tight deadline.

The schedule now is to switch traffic over to the new detour … on the new bridge one week from Monday.


“So they are planning and crossing their fingers to start the switch over to the other side on October 16. So that’s coming and then shortly after that kind of demo everything. So that’s kind of good news they’re going to get going they are hopeful that they are going to get that moving and get that demo done and get out of that creek area by the end of October.”

The project has been beset by engineering mistakes and delay after delay.

The state managed to design the bridge without drilling test bores in the creek bed.  The 92-foot-deep piles turned out to be incapable of supporting the weight of the bridge.  They had to be extended down to 184 feet into the soft ooze at the creek bed. 

No word yet on what the exact cost overrun will be. 


Delays Plague New Caltrans Project At Rambla Pacifico 

And word of a third Caltrans construction delay.  Work on the PCH lane reconfiguration was supposed to start two weeks ago … on PCH at Rambla Pacifico and Las Flores Road ….

It hasn’t.

Caltrans forgot to formally notify residents in the area.  That mistake has been rectified.   Work will start in a week or two. 


Malibu’s VOPs Write Massive Number Of Tickets, Devote 6,850 Hours To City

Malibu’s Volunteers on Patrol wrote a staggering number of parking tickets last year.

The unpaid volunteers use city cars … painted to look like sheriff’s department vehicles.

And they work closely with the sheriff’s department … to patrol neighborhoods and handle traffic at crashes.

Mark Russo … the lead V O P … has the amazing stats.


“Last year our team worked a total of 6,850 hours in the city .

“And we issued about 17,800 citations. 

“We issued last year with the citations it culminated in fines totaling $1,350,000.

There are 20 members … volunteers working for the city.

Five of them are trainees … undergoing a sixth month series classes and field observations.


103º Predicted For Hills Of Malibu This Weekend

The National Weather Service has upped the maximum temperature predictions for today … up 4 degrees.

103 for a high today and tomorrow … in the hills of upper malibu.

The overnight low was 86 degrees this morning at 6 … up on the ridge above Malibu High School.

In Malibu Canyon … it was 46 degrees at 6.

In between everywhere else.

Warm Santa Ana breezes … washing over the hilltops.

The hot winds blowing over the cool air in the canyons and at the beaches.

For today … the NWS has issued a hat advisory for there Santa Monica Mountains sections of malibu … but not the beach.

PCH is sort of the demarcation line … highs 74 south of it … up in the 80s north of it.

Highs today will hit 99 in the areas above 300 feet in elevation … or so.

Of course,… breezes will mix that around a little.

Similar. Heat Saturday …

We’re 3 days into this heat wave … and we will see three days of cooling next week.

Another heat spell on tap .,.. for late next week.


County Fire Plants New Pumpkin Off Encinal, Choppers Can Load Tanks There

The fire department calls them pumpkins.

Giant bright orange tanks with open tops … for fire helicopters to use to fill up tanks quickly.

L A County Fire has four pumpkins up above eastern Malibu … at Bravo 69 … a site near Saddle Peak.

Now … they have installed a new open-topped water tank in the central part of the mountains north of Malibu.

Assistant chief Drew Smith says there is a growing number of fire helicopters based in the nearby area.

And the pilots have been practicing on the new tank.


“We do have a static 5000 gallon heliwell or Helitank in service which is just behind camp Kilpatrick. So it’s just off of Encinal Canyon Road so it’s operational and we do have that ability. We’ve also trained with our Ventura County partners on that because that’s going to be a great dip site for them in the western portion of the LA County Ventura County line.”

The fire chief also said his department is working with LA County Waterworks and the city to place an additional open topped water tank at Trancas Canyon Park.

But the close placement of new fire pumpkins is not necessarily the best approach … according to the fire chief for Western L A County…


“Just because you have a close water source it doesn’t mean it’s the best . You need separation timing and distance with your aircraft.

“And so just because it’s right there doesn’t mean it’s the right dip site at the right time.

“But if it gives us tactical options to give us multiple options, we can get our aircraft in concert a lot easier.”

The number of fire helicopters in the immediate area has nearly doubled this year … as the fire department is moving towards a s”spot and swarm” approach to brush fires.


Dick Butkus, Ex-Bears Great and TV/Movie Star, Dies At Rambla Pacifico Home 

Dick Butkus died at his home near Rambla Pacifico in Malibu two nights ago.

The 80 year old retired football player was a major star in Chicago.

Then he became a star in Hollywood.

Butkus ventured into acting and announcing after his retirement from the Bears … appearing on CBS network games … and lots of episodic TV.

Butkus also appeared on the silver screen in films such as “Any Given Sunday,” “The Longest Yard” and “Necessary Roughness.”

Butkus died “peacefully in his sleep overnight at home in Malibu,” California, a statement from his family, posted by the Bears on social media, reads.

“The Butkus family is gathering with Dick’s wife, Helen. They appreciate your prayers and support,” the family’s statement reads.





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