close
close

Businesses in Topanga Canyon are experiencing extended road closures due to landslides

Business owners in Topanga Canyon are devastated by the news that the already lengthy street closure will continue until at least the fall due to a number of landslides in the area.

The closure, which has been in effect on Topanga Canyon Boulevard for several weeks, has severely impacted the flow of potential business passing through the area, much to the dismay of store owners and restaurants.

Aerial view of a landslide hitting Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

KCAL News


“Absolutely devastating news,” said Corinne Levine, owner of an area business that sells handmade furniture, decor and crystals. Since the closure, she says her business has almost halved.

Busto and Sun Custom Hats owner Enrico Busto says things have been even worse for them, with figures showing they are between 70 and 80 percent lower than normal.

“We decided to open at the worst time of the pandemic, which was October 2020, but now the closure is doing us more harm than the pandemic itself,” Busto said.

The first landslides hit in early March during heavy rain, and Caltrans officials say they have no plans to reopen the road due to the looming threat that could continue in the coming weeks.

They say more than 2 million pounds of dirt and debris need to be cleared, and water still soaking the area from underground continues to make the area unstable.

In an effort to bring some attention back to the area and get people into their stores, business owners are planning a biweekly event called “Visit Topanga Canyon,” which will feature live music and other entertainment. They are currently handing out flyers to highlight what there is to do in the area, and creating maps to direct visitors to their stores via alternative routes.

“They have to navigate very windy roads, but we do say, ‘We’re here, we’re open,’” Levine said. “Please come and visit our stores, please support us.”

A local man who has lived in the area for 25 years says it’s city and state leaders who need to get to work to save the businesses and repair the road faster.


Wet weather causes problems for drivers in Topanga Canyon

“It’s so political to me,” Val Garay said. “Caltrans is classic unless they get paid. It’s sad that they take all these people, you know, who give their lifeblood to these businesses in Topanga and don’t do anything to help them… Give them money, do something, but don’t let They can’t just sit here and waste away until there’s no one left.”

On Saturday, state and local officials toured the area to see what can be done to get things open faster.

“Reopening Topanga Canyon Blvd. safely and quickly is an urgent priority,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Lindsey Horvath. “CalTrans contractors shared with us the steps that need to be taken to stabilize the slide, remove material on the roadway and reopen this vital access point.”

Horvath was joined by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, California State Transportation Agency Secretary Toks Omishakin and CalTrans District 7 Director Gloria Roberts.

“I have urged that we act as quickly as possible and keep the crew safe,” Horvath continued. ‘And that we do this now with urgency while planning for the future, given the reality of our ever-changing climate. We share a commitment to engaging the best experts and coordinating weekly with the goal of accelerating a safe reopening.”