Woe to the commuters of Coldwater Canyon

coldwater-closed-dwp.jpgFor a month starting on March 23, the main canyon road connecting the Valley with Beverly Hills will be closed during the day. Coldwater Canyon Avenue needs to be dug up to replace the main water line installed during the William Mulholland era with a new trunk line. The disruption actually begins next week when left turns from Coldwater onto Ventura Boulevard are banned. From March 23 until the work is done, Coldwater will fully close from Ventura all the way up to Mulholland Drive during daylight hours six days a week. One lane each way be open when the crews aren't working. The DWP estimates the street should reopen to normal traffic on on April 25.

This will put a lot of traffic pressure on the other canyons: Laurel Canyon Boulevard between Studio City and Hollywood, and Beverly Glen between Sherman Oaks and Bel-Air. The DWP is advising drivers to also use the 405 freeway, Sepulveda Boulevard, and Cahuenga and Highland avenues to get across the Santa Monica Mountains.

The DWP says the 60-inch line to be replaced was buried 99 years ago. That would make it one of the original trunk lines to carry water from the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which opened in November 1913 and (cue drums) changed everything. The arrival of water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, conveyed to the San Fernando Valley via William Mulholland's gravity and siphon-powered aqueduct, led a couple of years later to the Valley annexing itself to Los Angeles and the city growing the suburbs that let the population swell into the millions.

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