California Incline

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California Incline
California Incline.JPG
The California Incline, facing north
Former name(s)Sunset Trail
Part ofCalifornia Avenue
TypeSlanted road
OwnerCity of Santa Monica
Maintained byCaltrans
Length1,400 ft (400 m)
West end SR 1 (Pacific Coast Highway)
East endOcean Avenue

The California Incline is a slanted road in Santa Monica, California, connecting Ocean Avenue with State Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway or PCH). It technically is the last link, the western end of California Avenue, a major east–west street in Santa Monica.

History and overview[edit]

The California Incline was originally a walkway known as Sunset Trail, which was cut through the bluffs to provide beach access to pedestrians in 1896.[1][2] A roadway structure 1,400 feet (430 m) in length was built in 1932.[3] It is a vital street in Santa Monica, linking the PCH with Ocean Avenue and California Avenue, bisecting Palisades Park. It begins at an intersection with Ocean Avenue and California Avenue, at the top of the Palisades, extending to PCH at the base of the bluffs.

2015–16 reconstruction[edit]

The California Incline was identified as structurally deficient in the early 1990s.[4][5] In 2007, the City of Santa Monica secured federal highway funds to replace the structure with one meeting current seismic standards.[6] The new bridge consists of a pile-supported reinforced concrete slab structure with a width of 51 feet 8 inches (15.75 m), an increase of 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) over the previous structure.[7][8] The project cost $17 million, with 88.5% coming from federal funds and the balance from local funds. Construction began in April 2015 and took 17 months to complete. The roadway reopened to the public on September 1, 2016. The rebuilt structure includes wider sidewalks and bicycle lanes.[6]

Popular culture[edit]

The California Incline has been featured in various films, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) and Knocked Up (2007). It was also featured in the hardboiled crime novel, In A Lonely Place (1942), written by Dorothy B. Hughes.[9] It was also portrayed in popular video games Midnight Club: LA, Grand Theft Auto V, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carcamo, Cindy (August 20, 2016). "California Incline in Santa Monica set to reopen Sept. 1". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Garbee, Jenn; Gottesman, Nancy; Schwartz, Margery L. (2007). Hometown Santa Monica: The Bay Cities Book. Pasadena, CA: Prospect Park. ISBN 0975393928. Retrieved April 14, 2013 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ California Department of Transportation; City of Santa Monica (October 2009). "California Incline Bridge Replacement Project" (PDF). City of Santa Monica. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  4. ^ California Department of Transportation; City of Santa Monica (August 2011). "California Incline Bridge Replacement Project (Revised)" (PDF). City of Santa Monica. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Orzeck, Kurt (September 9, 2011). "SM Has 3 'Structurally Deficient' Bridges". Santa Monica Patch. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Mejia, Brittny (September 1, 2016). "California Incline in Santa Monica Reopens to Traffic After 17-Month Closure". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Yearlong California Incline Closure, Construction Project Is Underway in Santa Monica". Los Angeles: KTLA. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ Rohit, Parimal M. "California Incline in Santa Monica to Close Next Fall for Reconstruction". Santa Monica Mirror. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
  9. ^ Hughes, Dorothy B. (1942). In A Lonely Place. Library of America. pp. 395–398. ISBN 978-1-59853-430-6 – via Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1940s.
  10. ^ Screenshot from GTA San Andreas