1 lane reopened in each direction as crews make progress on massive Studio City sinkhole

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Crews on Monday were working around the clock and making progress to fix a sewer line at the site of a sinkhole in Studio City that swallowed two cars during a damaging rainstorm last week. (KABC)

Crews on Monday were working around the clock and making progress to fix a sewer line at the site of a sinkhole in Studio City that swallowed two cars during a damaging rainstorm last week.

The goal was to open at least one lane in each direction on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. By 7 a.m., crews did just that.

The area, near Moorpark Street, was closed since Friday night when two cars plunged into the water-filled sinkhole, which left one woman injured.



The sinkhole was about 20 feet deep and 30 feet wide, but Los Angeles fire officials said they did not believe the hole was going to get bigger.

City engineers said the sinkhole was caused by the excessive rain and a sewer failure. Officials said they don't know what caused the 90-year-old sewage pipe to rupture.

"What you had in this area is basically too much rain, saturated soil and potentially a break in the sewer," said Adel Hagekhalil, an L.A. assistant general manager.

They said repairs on the pipe are taking longer because the sewage flow is so heavy, crews can't get in to see the problem.

"When they went to put a camera in, they really couldn't see what was wrong with the pipe," said Saul Blasman, a sanitation wastewater manager with the Bureau of Sanitation. "So we have to de-water it."

After rush hour, crews are expected to close the stretch again to install a bypass pipe and then reopen each lane by Tuesday morning, officials said.

"Once we do that, then we start the assessment repair," said Hagekhalil.

In the meantime, K-rails separated drivers from the workers and machinery on either side.

Although officials said there was no disruption of sewer service, nearby residents have expressed concern over the possibility of more sinkholes.

"I look at every crack in the street and I wonder, 'Was that crack here last week?'" said one man.

Hagekhalil sought to reassure homeowners and motorists in the area.

"I want to let people know, we're checking everything," he said. "People should be not concerned about this. Everything is fine. We're checking all the sewers. This is an anomaly. I think multiple things happened here -- it's not one thing."

The project is expected to take two to three weeks to complete and reopen all lanes.
Related Topics:
weathersinkholestorm damageconstructionStudio CityLos Angeles
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