Photo Record

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Object ID F-0734
Title Malibu Road Bridge Number 2
Description Malibu Road Bridge Number 2, bridge over Malibu Creek, in Rancho Malibu, owned by May K. Rindge. In 1904, the Southern Pacific Railroad applied to the Interstate Commerce Commission to build tracks linking the Long Wharf in Santa Monica with their northern tracks at Santa Barbara. The connection proposed was a straight line right through the Malibu ranch. A loophole in the ICC law prevented condemning a right-of-way parallel to an already existing railroad, so the Rindges decided to build a private railroad through Rancho Malibu to keep the bigger railroad company out. May Rindge then built 15 miles of standard gauge tracks called the Hueneme, Malibu and Port Los Angeles Railway in1908 that remained in use until the 1920s, used mainly to ship grains and hides from the ranch operations via the Malibu Pier. It ran from Las Flores Canyon to a point near Yerba Buena Canyon in Ventura County, using the flat sandy land along the coast and spanning canyons with immense trestle bridges.

In1919 Los Angeles County used the courts to condemn the Rindge's right-of-way and begin construction of a road. Mrs. Rindge continued the fight in court, and to resist survey and construction work, but merely delayed the road. Overcoming all of May Rindge's objections, the County Road through Malibu Ranch was finally opened for the public on November 3, 1921.

On June 11, 1923, Mrs. Rindge lost her case in the United States Supreme Court, and a road easement was granted to the State of California through the Malibu Ranch. The state highway right-of-way followed the route of the County Road in some places and in other places it was constructed parallel to it. The State eventually was awarded title to the right-of-way through the Malibu Ranch in 1925 by the Superior Court and the final order of condemnation was issued two years later. The new state highway was named "Roosevelt Highway" originally and is now Pacific Coast Highway, opened to the public between Santa Monica and Oxnard in June 1929, 22 years after the first court action.
Date 08/25/1925
Place Malibu Rancho; Malibu Canyon (California)
Collection Los Angeles City Archives Department of Engineering Historical Photos
Provenance City of Los Angeles Department of Engineering
Cataloged by Sklar, Anna
Copyright Los Angeles City Archives, City Clerk
Photographer Los Angeles City Engineering Staff
Search Terms Malibu
Subjects Historic bridges-Malibu-California
Beaches California Malibu
Roads California Malibu
Malibu (Calif.)