The first weekday closure of Coldwater Canyon Boulevard for a utility project began Monday morning, forcing commuters to find an alternate connection between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.
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Lanes in both directions of Coldwater Canyon Avenue will be closed for construction from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. The five-week closure began Saturday.
"Those people that didn't get the message, as soon as they get here and see that it's closed, tomorrow they 're going to choose an alternate route," said Jeff Bray, of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Crews will dig 16 feet below ground to replace a nearly 100-year-old trunk line that rupture in 2009. The new steel pipe is part of an ongoing city trunk line replacement project involving a system that brings water from Sylmar to the Franklin Reservoir in West LA.
The work could not be done overnight because of the heavy construction equipment used for the project, Bray said.
"A lot of backup alarms, metal plates banging, diesel engines running at full blast -- these aren't the types of things that are conducive to people sleeping," Bray said. "The commuters have an alternate route to take, the people who live here don't have an alternate place to sleep.
The road will remain open Sundays. One lane in each direction will be open during non-construction hours. At that time, drivers heading both north and south on Coldwater Canyon Avenue will be prohibited from turning left onto Ventura Boulevard.
Most of the construction will occur at the Coldwater Canyon Boulevard intersections with Dickens Street, Avenida del Sol and Hacienda Drive.
Residents, businesses, churches and schools -- including Harvard-Westlake School, Sunnyside Preschool and St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church -- were issued special access permits to allow local traffic in the area.
City officials suggest the following alternates: Cahuenga Boulevard/Highland Avenue, Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Beverly Glen Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard and the 405 Freeway.