Water Main Break: “City Crumbling Underneath Us”

Impacts were felt on the Westside of LA the day after a massive water main break near UCLA

Sunset and Barrington is already one of the most jammed intersections in Los Angeles, made worse by the San Diego (405) Freeway construction, now impacted by the flooding at UCLA.

It has left residents and businesses scrambling to get around and running into even more delays.

The ripple effect of the geyser that hit UCLA has been felt throughout the surrounding area.

Jay Handal, of the West Neighborhood Council, says it took him a lot longer to get to work.

"I left my house and went to my office, which is 5 minutes away and it took me 20 minutes to get there," he said. "Every artery was completely blocked."

The closure of Sunset Boulevard also had an impact at office buildings in Westwood.

The manager of a medical building says doctors that normally take Sunset to work had to detour and that had a domino effect on patients.

"They've had to just wait longer stretches of time for them to arrive and some of the patients who normally don't even drive ... have started resorting to public transportation," said Amy Martin, a Westwood building manager.

The alternative to Sunset was Wilshire Boulevard, busy Wednesday morning but traffic had gone down to normal levels by the afternoon.

The worry was how bad would it get for the evening commute at 5 p.m.

Lenny, a Brentwood resident, says the Sunset water rupture turned her household upside down. Losing water for several hours was just one problem.

"My kids had to go to the Hollywood Bowl last night," she said. "They couldn't go. They couldn't get out. We're trapped in this area."

Handal is also worried about the long-term impact -- aging pipes, crumbling roads, and what that will do to the city's commerce and quality of life.

"This is just a symptom of the lack of funding of infrastructure in the city, whether it's streets, sidewalks, pipes ... You know, this city is crumbling underneath us."

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