The Department of Water and Power is expected to continue construction work on Moorpark Street and Whitsett Avenue for the next three to four months as part of its improvement project to replace existing water pipes.
One frustrated resident, Jodi Harrison, wondered why the work is taking so long. "It seems like it's been several years since my driving patterns have been thrown out of whack," she said.
Jeff Bray, DWP district superintendent of the construction crews, said the project consists of several different phases that are part of replacing the existing "trunk lines."
"A trunk line is a pipe that's anywhere from 20 inches to 151 inches, which primarily moves water from one area to another," Bray said. He said the entire project is costing about $40 million.
Work at Whitsett and Moorpark started in March 2009. Construction crews work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and have only one lane of traffic open in each direction.
"We have been working on Whitsett for a while," Bray said. "It's been going on for a while and will be going on for awhile. We estimate three to four more months."
The trunk lines run from the Vanowen reservoir, which is at the north end of the San Fernando Valley, and go south, up and over Coldwater Canyon Avenue, to the reservoir over the hill.
"On Coldwater runs city trunk line unit 4, which runs from the 101-south on Whitsett and then goes west on Moorpark to Coldwater and south on Coldwater to the L.A. River," Bray said. "It's this replacement which we are working on now at the intersection of Whitsett and Moorpark."
City trunk line 2 construction is going on now on Vanowen Street. City trunk line 3 runs on Whitsett from Magnolia Boulevard north to Vanowen. City trunk line unit 5, scheduled for work sometime next year, starts at the Los Angeles River and goes south to Coldwater Canyon about 300 feet from the campus.
Bray said the replacement of the entire city trunk line unit system involves several miles, including unit 1 (10,000 feet), unit 2 (9,000 feet), unit 3 (10,000 feet), unit 4 (6,000 feet) and unit 5 (6,900 feet).
"This is all part of the line that's existing right now and was also where the main break occurred at Ventura and Coldwater Canyon in September of 2009," Bray said. "We have been into this construction on this project for probably the last four to five years; it's just coincidental that it broke, which made it look like we started after it broke, but it's been in line for years."