City Finds No Connection Between Sunset Blvd. Water Main Break and Nearby Construction

There doesn’t appear to be any connection between the water main break on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood on Friday and construction nearby on the Sunset La Cienega project according to Oscar Delgado, the city’s director of public works.

Water gushes from the street on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega.
Water gushes from the street on Sunset Boulevard at La Cienega.

In an email message today to West Hollywood City Council members, Delgado said members of his department met with Heery International, a consulting firm engaged by the city to help monitor the complex project, to discuss the incident.

“At this time there does not appear to be any connection between the development at Sunset and La Cienega and the LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) water main break,” Delgado told Council members. “‎Additionally, according to the information received from the developer, CIM, all of the activity on the development site last week was within property boundaries.”

Elyse Eisenberg of the West Hollywood North Residents Association, in an email to Council members, questioned whether the Sunset La Cienega project’s construction might have contributed to the water main break. That break caused Sunset Boulevard to be closed near its intersection with Olive Drive until 10:30 p.m. Saturday, when two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane were opened.

“Now that the repairs are wrapping up, we look forward to LADWP reporting on the cause of the break,” Delgado wrote. “Richard Harasick, the assistant director of water operations for LADWP indicated that age could have been a factor. Unfortunately, water main breaks are becoming more common as our infrastructure gets older.”

There was evidence of that earlier today when a stretch of Sunset Boulevard in Holmby Hills also was closed because of a water main break. Another break was reported in downtown Los Angeles at 3:30 a.m. today. And a water main break on Sunset Boulevard near UCLA in July damaged hundreds of cars in an underground garage.

Delgado noted that CIM Group’s general contractor helped reduce the impact of the flooding on nearby businesses. Some of them stacked sandbags in from of the Grafton hotel to stop water from entering its lobby.

“We will continue to work with both LADWP and Beverly Hills Water (both water suppliers to West Hollywood) to explore/address aging water lines in our city,” Delgado said. “As LADWP concludes their investigation we look forward to their findings.”


11 Comments
  1. Cart before the horse there, Alley

    Where do the “squandered monies” go?

    They go to crooked developers and crooked politicians.

    Why are there “crooked unions”?

    Because of crooked developers and crooked politicians.

  2. Perfect response Luca D. These folks are quick to blame contractors and developers but fail to realize there own properties and businesses were also built by contractors and developers, big or small. Sounds like sour grapes from a bunch of couch professionals. You people don’t like it, get out of California. The root cause is squandered monies by DWP and thier crooked unions

  3. This seems to be a problem Nationally! The U.S. needs to invest about $2.7 trillion dollars in the nation’s infrastructure by 2020 according to a Recent Study from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The lac of investment in our infrastructure is costing us well paying jobs and economic growth. The U.S. Highway System [The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 (Pub. L. No. 78-521; 58 Stat. 838)] and much of our other infrastructure were created through Public Works Investments, NOT private sector scams that we depend on today. To fix our problem requires a Public Works Administration (PWA) type of project as seen in part of the New Deal of 1933.

  4. really? a water main that was set in place in what? 1916, and not touched again until 1957, and posters blame over development?
    get real. post your engineering degrees after your ridiculous assertions.
    this is like every other water main break occurring three a day in greater los angeles, all due to deferred maintenance or none at all in some cases in the one hundred years since laid.
    did i read something about vibrations or shaking caused by building structures?
    in earthquake country, really?

    come on grown ups, make your case about politicians and developers on the merits, not fictitious and hysterical notions.

    1. To clairify please watch link and statement by dwp spokesman .

      https://news.yahoo.com/video/water-main-break-floods-sunset-065100954.html

      Our public works dept could have waited for an official decission by the DWP
      Why did they have to make a statement at all ?
      What was this email to council members about or for ?
      How would Oscar know anyways ? The damaged pipe was gone and only forensics on the break could truly come close to an answer.
      Development can be good but only when it’s planned for correctly ..would you buy or build a house with 300 plus rooms if you knew the pipe supplying it was 100 years old ?
      Let’s do what we do the right way not half way.

  5. Entirely premature conclusions from Oscar Delgado, WeHo Public Works, Heery Int., a consulting firm, and CIM, the developer.

  6. The city statement was factual. He said “at this time” there is no known connection, and that they await further reports from the experts. Here’s an idea – we all should do the same before leaping to conclusions.

    Water mains are breaking all over the area without construction nearby. If this were a rare case, then maybe we’d have more reason to be suspicious of a connection. There should be further investigation of course, but the knee jerk response to blaming the city and its decisions is premature, as usual.

  7. Shame on Oscar for sticking his neck out so fast. Even the Dwp spokesman said on the news that it could be caused by any number of things . Is Oscar aware of the transfer of vibrations caused by drilling, jackhammering, excavation equipment ? Would the engineer hired actually say that it is CIMs responsibilty ? And if DWP does not have an answer how do these two know so quickly ?
    The reality is no one will ever know the real answer it’s really impossible to tell. What is possible though is that we know in advance that there’s a 100 year old line 50′ from the edge of a project and what mitigations should be taken .
    What about the project approved on that side of sunset ? Any mitigations being required ?
    Developers are flocking here because there’s an open gate somehow. A flood of approval with most concerns favoring the developer. This would never happen in other cities, no transportation mitigation at an F intersection, removing needed parking , property infrastructure upgrades. Nothing against Oscar personally but it concerns me the head of public works is so quick to please . While he’s at it how about addressing the lifted sidewalks In the neighborhoods. Or cutting the water back on center medians. Again proactive actions rather than reacting .

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