UCLA Flood: LADWP Crews Excavate Water Main Site, Prepare for Repairs

DWP crews have cleared the area around the broken pipe and are prepared to begin repairs. (Credit: KTLA)

DWP crews have cleared the area around the broken pipe and are prepared to begin repairs. (Credit: KTLA)

On the second day of efforts to address a massive water main break that flooded much of UCLA, tow trucks began removing dozens of car stranded in an underground parking garage on campus on Thursday.

Out on the street, workers completed an excavation below Sunset Boulevard, which remained closed to traffic.

Crews worked to shore up the site so that two 93-year-old trunklines that burst — sending 20 million gallons of water into the air and onto UCLA’s campus — can be replaced.

They were also widening the trenches around the water main so workers would have enough space to get in there and start replacing the broken pipes.

Pipe repairs began just before 9 p.m. Wednesday night, nearly 30 hours after the water main ruptured Tuesday afternoon in the 10600 block of Sunset (map), according to a news release from the LADWP.

The pipe break created a 15-foot wide sinkhole in the middle of the thoroughfare, which prompted the closure of Sunset between Hilgard and Veteran avenues.

Crews had to excavate a site some 56 feet by 41.5 feet to begin the pipe replacement process.

Crews excavated a more than 2,300 square foot site on Sunset Boulevard where a water main broke, the LADWP tweeted in a photo on Thursday.

Crews excavated a more than 2,300 square foot site on Sunset Boulevard where a water main broke, the LADWP tweeted in a photo on Thursday.

“There is no longer any water flowing to the work area,” the LADWP release stated. “It remains a complex job, due to the ‘Y’ shaped juncture where the rupture occurred, involving two trunk lines.”

Crews must fix the break, seal it up and then repair all of the damage to Sunset Boulevard before the heavily trafficked roadway is reopened. It was estimated the work would be done by the end of Friday or early Saturday.

While Sunset was shut down, motorists were encouraged to use Santa Monica, Wilshire and Olympic boulevards as alternate routes.

Metro bus lines 761, 2/302 and 233 were also being rerouted as a result of the street closure, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

A water main break in Westwood sent a geyser gushing into the air and across the UCLA campus on July 29, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

A water main break in Westwood sent a geyser gushing into the air and across the UCLA campus on July 29, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Meanwhile, on the UCLA campus, three people were hospitalized and three others were treated after being possibly exposed to carbon monoxide fumes coming from a stairwell leading to the John Wooden Center on Wednesday, according to a news release from UCLA.

The three taken to the hospital tested negative and were later released, the release stated. The other three were evaluated on-site and released outside Parking Structure 4.

The injuries were the first reported related to the Sunset rupture and subsequent flooding.

The spill came as the state water board recently passed emergency regulations amid a historic and extreme statewide drought.

The massive water loss — about 4 percent of the amount Los Angeles uses daily, according to LADWP — had many on social media making reference to water waste amid the drought.

KTLA’s John A. Moreno and Melissa Pamer contributed to this report.


Related Stories