SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) --Following a reconstruction project that lasted 17 months and cost $17 million, Santa Monica's iconic California Incline ramp reopened to bicyclists and pedestrians Thursday.
The incline is scheduled to reopen to motorists at 5 p.m.
The newly widened ramp, which connects Pacific Coast Highway and downtown Santa Monica, features dedicated lanes for bicycles and pedestrians, and has been designed to meet earthquake safety standards.
"We needed to shore this up for many, many, many years," Mayor Tony Vasquez said as he stood on the ramp early Thursday morning, "and the bridge that you're going to see, also, has now also been retrofitted for seismic (regulations)."
Vasquez was referring to the replacement of the original 750-foot bridge that crossed the 1,400-foot, 1930s-era incline.
The project, whose costs were largely subsidized by federal funds, often resulted in heavy traffic on nearby streets and forced drivers to use the 10 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway as alternates.
A ceremony marking the reopening was held before pedestrians and bicyclists were allowed to traverse roadway.