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Sink Hole in Santa Monica Interrupts Water Service, Tangles Traffic
By Lookout Staff
March 16, 2017 -- A sink hole on Colorado Avenue between 20th Street and Cloverfield Boulevard in Santa Monica cut off water to nearby customers and tangled traffic Wednesday following a water-main break the previous night, officials said.
The sink hole measured approximately five feet by five feet, although to fix the problem workers had to make it larger, said Constance Farrell, a City spokesperson.
The City said its top priority was to resume water service to customers in the vicinity, which it hoped to do before 6 p.m. Wednesday night.
Farrell said officials also hoped to re-open Colorado soon, even if only partially.
City Public Works crews started working on the site at 5 a.m., excavating the area and patching the pipe so water could begin reaching customers again, she said.
“Once excavated, it became clear that a Los Angeles County storm drain pipe was also damaged and in need of repair,” Farrell said. “The City is working with the County.”
The City is responsible for fixing the water main, she said, and Los Angeles County is responsible for the storm drain.
City officials said the problem was caused by the heavy downpour from a series of storms this winter -- the first significant rain in California since it headed into a severe five-year drought.
In this case, Farrell said it’s likely either the storm drain pipe or the water main was damaged by the rains, causing erosion of the surrounding dirt and concrete fill.
“The erosion caused the street above to partially collapse, creating a small sink hole,” she said. “Crews had to excavate the area to get to the pipe in need of repair.”
The City asked drivers to consider alternate routes as the evening rush hours approached, and asked -- especially -- for them to be understanding.
“We know there are traffic impacts due to the street closure and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this work to get water back on and the street reopened,” Farrell said.
Like other Southern California communities, Santa Monica’s infrastructure was not left with the significant damage that Northern California suffered in the recent series of storms.
The City, which runs its own water-supply system (supplemented with imported water), has 17,847 customers.
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