Water main break floods 101 Freeway in Hollywood, prompting lane closures on both sides

The Hollywood area has seen a number of water main breaks and subsequent flooding over the past week.

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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Several lanes on both sides of the 101 Freeway in the Hollywood area were shut down Tuesday morning following yet another water main break.

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Several lanes on both sides of the 101 Freeway in the Hollywood area were shut down Tuesday morning following yet another water main break.

The flooding was reported around 2:30 a.m. on both sides of the freeway at Santa Monica Boulevard, and by 5 a.m., only one northbound and southbound lane was open to drivers.

At one point, the entire freeway, including both northbound and southbound lanes, was covered in water.

The California Highway Patrol escorted drivers through the freeway, which was flooded with up to 2 feet of water in some areas.

Before the closures were fully in place, water gushed down onto the freeway and some drivers were driving too fast, causing some to "fishtail."

The water main was shut down and crews worked throughout the morning to clear the water from the roadway.

The water main was expected to be repaired by 1 p.m., but cleanup lasted most of the afternoon.

The Hollywood area has seen a number of water main breaks and subsequent flooding over the past week.

As AIR7 HD was over the 101 Freeway Tuesday morning, yet another water main break was spotted along nearby Kingsley Drive but no significant impacts were reported.

According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, it sees - on average - about three water line breaks a day.

The department said it has a plan to replace aging pipes in the system, some of which are at least 100 years old.

"This past fiscal year, we've replaced over 200,000 feet of pipe," said Breonia Lindsey, who's in charge of water distribution for LADWP and is the person who oversees water pipe replacement. "This coming year, we're on target to replace 215,000 feet of pipe. It's a progression that we want to see happen."

That's nearly 41 miles of pipe in a 7,200-mile system.

LADWP says it has one of the lowest leak rates in the country, but when a major break like the one in Hollywood Tuesday occurs, it takes the focus away from any progress being made to replace old pipes.

"I think our overall message to customers is that we're doing our best to, not necessarily just conserve, but to make sure we're providing the infrastructure necessary for them to get the necessary resources that they need," said Lindsey.