A 9-mile section of the Pacific Coast Highway just north of Malibu remains closed after a December rainstorm sent piles of debris down a steep hillside and choked off northbound lanes.
Caltrans is still in the process of removing the debris, but while it's at it, workers are taking steps to reduce the risk of more slides.
Allan Sharon is one of a team of 250 trained climbers that Caltrans has assembled -- all with different day jobs -- who periodically work an estimated 3,000 miles or more of state roads that wind through the hills and mountains and sit next to slopes with the potential for rockslides.
On a recent sunny morning, Sharon is helping set up anchors at the top of a slope that's about 150 feet above the Pacific Coast Highway. He's been with Caltrans for 22 years. Usually he works as a heavy equipment operator in the mountains of Ojai. Today his job is to identify any rocks or boulders at risk of falling and, well, make them fall — in a controlled way, of course. They call it scaling.