SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- A busy stretch of the northbound Pacific Coast Highway and westbound 10 Freeway will be closed in Santa Monica starting late Tuesday so crews can make emergency repairs to a potentially unstable bluff.
The city says it recently noticed an "unstable portion" of the Santa Monica Bluffs located just above PCH between the California Incline and Moomat Ahiko Way. To keep the land from giving way, crews will be removing parts of the bluff.
A photo released by the city shows a massive fissure that developed in the bluff overlooking PCH. There is fear a portion of the bluff could collapse and fall onto the highway.
Most of the emergency removal work will happen overnight.
To accommodate the work, the northbound Moomat Ahiko Way on-ramp to PCH will close beginning at 11:30 p.m. The westbound 10 freeway will close at Lincoln Boulevard through to northbound PCH at the California Incline beginning at 2 a.m. Wednesday.
City officials said they expect all work to be completed and the roads reopened by noon Wednesday.
During the closure, westbound 10 Freeway motorists who need to access PCH will be detoured off the freeway at Lincoln and routed to either Wilshire or Santa Monica boulevards, Ocean Avenue and the California Incline.
The city says it's unknown when the section of the bluff could break away, but officials are taking action now to minimize any risks to the public.
A crane with a clamshell bucket will remove the unstable column. Officials believe heavy rains in December and January caused the crack.
City officials don't have an estimate on how much the work will cost.
City News Service contributed to this report.