Sepulveda Blvd Re-Opened After Fallen Excavator Removed

No one was hurt, but the crucial north-south artery was closed during the height of the morning rush hour after a huge piece of construction equipment slid down a hill

By Sharon Bernstein
|  Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013  |  Updated 5:41 AM PDT
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A huge piece of construction equipment that slid down a hill onto Sepulveda Boulevard overnight has been removed, clearing the way for a late but somewhat slower commute from the San Fernando Valley to West Los Angeles.

The equipment, called an excavator, fell from a slope beneath I-405, where workers were preparing to build a retaining wall, said Dave Sotero, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro).

"The excavator slipped on the slope and landed on the southbound side of Sepulveda," Sotero said.

No drivers were on the road when the excavator, with its tank-like tracks and large shovel, fell over, Sotero said, because that portion of Sepulveda had been closed overnight for the construction work.

Initially, workers planned to use a crane to right the excavator, Sotero said. But in the end, they opted to enlist another excavator that was already on site, along with a piece of equipment called a loader, to push the downed digger back up.

Once it was back on its tracks, Sotero said, workers were able to drive the excavator off the site.

The heavily used north-west artery was re-opened shortly before 8 a.m., Sotero said. It had been closed between Mountaingate Drive and Skirball Center Drive. No one was hurt when the equipment fell, Sotero said.

Sepulveda Blvd. has been closed on and off for more than a year as work continues on a widening and improvement project for I-405.

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