Sunset Boulevard was reopened today, six days after being closed down by a 20-million-gallon flood that resulted from a water main rupture and also inundated parts of the UCLA campus.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the reopening in a statement released by his office around 1:30 this morning. The mayor did not address the state of the city’s often ancient water pipes, but he praised city workers for their efforts in getting Sunset open before this morning’s commute.
“Fixing this major artery in our water supply and opening one of our busiest streets was an immensely complicated job, and I’m very proud that it was done with the highest standards of professionalism by our city work force,” he said.
He also expressed “my deepest respect and appreciation to hundreds of workers” in the fire and police departments and several other city agencies “who skillfully worked together and took great care to ensure that there were no injuries when the water main burst or during the repair work.”
The repairs involved the placement of 400 tons of sand and 540 tons of crushed aggregate base into the sinkhole scoured out by the estimated 20 million gallons of Owens Valley water that flowed from the 92-year-old pipes Tuesday, said Los Angeles Department of Water and Water spokesman Joseph Ramallo.
But street repairs are not quite complete.
“Motorists will be required to travel at reduced speeds this week on the affected part of the street,” Garcetti said. “Additionally, this section of Sunset Blvd. will be closed during the overnight hours on Friday August 8, Saturday August 9 and if necessary Sunday August 10 so city crews can work on final repairs.”
The mayor said residents who experienced property damage should visit www.ladwp.com/claims or call (213) 367-4600 “for the latest information and forms.”
He said the DWP recommends that car owners go through their insurance companies and the DWP will work with insurance companies to waive deductibles.
Roughly 900 vehicles were stranded in garages No. 4 and No. 7 at UCLA after the pipe break. Most of them remained dry but about 400 were left in standing water to varying depths.
A fleet of tow trucks ferried the cars to another parking lot at the south end of the campus starting Friday.
Water-damaged vehicles were first inspected by DWP insurance adjusters before leaving the parking structures.
Crews working around the clock after the rupture installed two “butterfly valves” — weighing 4,000 pounds each — on the damaged cast-iron pipeline, which splits into two pipes where it broke Tuesday, Ramallo said.
The pipes in the DWP system were slowly pressurized and crews patrolled the area for leaks as they connected Stone Canyon reservoir to the Westside.
Steel plating and concrete thrust blocks were installed and tested over the 36-inch water mains, Ramallo said.
The damage to the floor of UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion prompted the Teen Choice Awards, scheduled for next Sunday, to relocate to the Shrine Auditorium, organizers said.
The floors should be replaced under Pauley and the John Wooden Center by early November, UCLA officials said.
“I am very happy to learn that Pauley Pavilion will be ready for the UCLA men’s and women’s basketball season,” Garcetti said.