By Michael Ventre
A major pipeline replacement project to improve water reliability was completed well ahead of schedule , putting the popular Benedict Canyon Drive back in business two months earlier than planned. The project was completed in September 2018 – two months early – because of a well-coordinated effort involving LADWP Water System staff working in partnership with the office of Councilmember Paul Koretz (5th District) and other City of Los Angeles agencies. The efficient work is expected to an estimated $1.8 million.
Constructed by LADWP’s Western District crews, the project replaced 5,200 feet of pipeline that had been originally installed in the 1960s with new 12-inch steel pipeline along Benedict Canyon Drive, south of Mulholland Drive to Hutton Drive, as well as a new 8-inch steel pipeline along Liebe Drive. Four new fire hydrants were also installed. This project will increase water system reliability in the area and improve the existing fire protection capabilities.
“We are very pleased that this challenging project went smoothly and was completed sooner than anticipated,” LADWP General Manager David H. Wright said. “It is a tribute to the dedication and professionalism of everyone involved, but it is also due to the patience and understanding demonstrated by local residents, commuters and community leaders during the construction period.”
The effort began in early 2018 with outreach to the local community to solicit feedback on issues involving traffic and local access, spearheaded by LADWP’s Water Distribution Division and members of the Communications, Media and Community Affairs and Marketing and Economic Development teams. The project was then tailored to address that feedback and to accommodate the needs of the local community and motorists, which included the placement of LADWP Security Services Officers and traffic control officers at several locations in Benedict Canyon and neighboring Deep Canyon to manage traffic in and around the project area.
The Benedict Canyon project is part of LADWP Water System’s efforts to upgrade the infrastructure throughout its service area. LADWP operates and maintains over 7,300 miles of water transmission and distribution pipes. LADWP’s goal is to replace all pipes as they near the end of their expected lifespan.
As part of the Water System’s strategic plan, almost 250 miles of pipe have been replaced since 2006. Distribution pipe replacement will increase for the next five years to 300,000 feet in 2023.