Another Day, Another Water Main Break

While city crews worked Wednesday to fill the gaping hole a ruptured trunk line dug in Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Los Angeles  Department of Water and Power crews were busy with smaller main line breaks in  the Fairfax district.

Two overnight breaks in separate 6-inch lines, in the 100 block of North  Hayworth Avenue about 1:25 a.m., and the other in the 1400 block of Hi Point  Street, each put about 50 DWP customers out of service, Gale Harris of the DWP  said.

The pavement did not buckle in either case, she said.

The Saturday night break in the giant pipeline that forms an underground  river between the Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar and the Franklin reservoirs  in Hollywood drew attention to the city's aging infrastructure.

The 62-inch steel pipeline was installed in 1914 under then-City  Engineer William Mulholland and had ruptured near the same spot in 1993.

On Tuesday, a city fire truck falling in a sink hole caused by a break  in a 6-inch line, just east of where the ruptured trunk line flooded a stretch  of Ventura Boulevard, further focused attention on the need to replace old  water lines, prompting a city councilman to call for speeding up the process.

On Coldwater Canyon Avenue -- its intersection with Ventura Boulevard is  expected to stay closed through Friday at least -- workers welded and riveted  a patch on the trunk line, but that did little to help the commuters who  normally cross the hills on the canyon road.

City officials urged San Fernando Valley commuters to use Beverly Glen  or Laurel Canyon boulevards instead. Coldwater is closed between Moorpark and  Halkirk streets.

Brooks Baker of the DWP said crews were working to backfill the roadway  and, once that work was done, the rest of the job, including repaving, would be  handled by the city's Department of Public Works.

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