The Daily Breeze has an article with updates on the Paseo del Mar sinkhole. Here are a few highlights:
Sinkhole problem turns serious
By Donna Littlejohn Staff Writer
* Engineers this week are busy making plans to relocate power poles – “in case something more drastic would occur,” said Lawrence Cuaresma, district engineer with the city of Los Angeles Public Works Department.
* Engineers at this point do not know what is causing the sinkhole, he said. “I hate to speculate, we don’t know if it’s local or part of a wider, larger event.”
* County Department of Beaches and Harbors reported finding additional cracks in the pedestrian walkway near the street south of the baseball diamond used by Mary Star of the Sea High School. Access to part of the beach below was closed due to a “potential landslide.”
* Using tape measures and instruments, surveyors determined that the hole beneath where the road buckled was 2 feet long and 3 feet wide. The hole appeared to be expanding. Since then, crews have discovered cracks also in the land at the White Point Nature Preserve that is bordered by Paseo del Mar.
* Sidewalks also have developed cracks on the south side of the roadway, and there has been some separation of the curb and the gutter, Cuaresma said. There also was some movement on an access road, now closed, that leads down the cliff to the beach.
* Among the possibilities: The land in the historically unstable area is moving once again along the south-facing ocean cliffs.
* The initial focus of the multijurisdictional investigation has been on two storm drains, a sewer line and a water line that all run beneath Paseo del Mar between Weymouth and Western avenues. While a separation was discovered in a joint of a 54-inch storm drain line, Cuaresma said the question becomes like that of the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Did a land mass movement cause the line to break? Or did the break and underground water leak result in a land shift? The county “is assessing what they can do to reroute that storm drain in a different path so it’s out of the zone of influence of ground movement,” Cuaresma said.
* Andrea Vona, director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy that oversees the 102-acre preserve, said so far there has been no disruption of activity there. The parking lot and all trails remain open. “We feel fortunate that there’s still access, but we’ve been told the sewer line may be impacted,” she said. “We hope we’ll be able to all band together to make sure there’s not any kind of permanent impact on the nature center.”
* Emergency vehicles can still enter from the west side closest to Western Avenue.
To read the full article, please go to the Daily Breeze web site.
The Los Angeles Department of Public Works issued a media advistory yesterday. Pedestrian traffic is permitted at present, however the Bureau of Engineering continues to monitor the area and will request sidewalk closure if conditions change. As a precaution, the Department of Water and Power is capping and isolating their waterline; the Department of Recreation and Parks is shutting down a landscape irrigation system; and the County of Los Angeles Flood Control District is developing plans to divert stormwater away from existing pipelines and discharge stormwater runoff away from this area of Paseo Del Mar.
Dave Behar, Palisades Residents Association president, says “As residents, we should plan for closure far longer than a month – due to the complexity of mother nature and several landslide related issues that will take time to resolve from multiple City, County, and State departments and agencies. Sad as it may seem, I expect the closure could be several months to potentially indefinite.”