Trucks Begin Epic Dirt Removal Effort at Devil's Gate Dam

Published : Wednesday, May 22, 2019 | 5:46 AM

The wrangling is over and the dirt moving begun. The County of Los Angeles Public Works Department launched the first of hundreds of daily dump truck round trips out of Devil’s Gate Dam early Monday.

“The first truck arrived at the site at approximately 7:15 a.m.,” said Los Angeles County Public Works Department spokesman, Kerjon Lee. “Work has been going very smoothly.”

Los Angeles County Public Works released these graphics showing the routes being used by trucks on their trips in and out of Devil's Gate Dam

Lee released the routes and timing of the haul runs, which he said are varied to avoid negative traffic impacts and balance truck traffic between affected communities.

Routes between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., will run from Oak Grove Drive just south of Berkshire Place in one direction, and the 210 Freeway La Canada ramp in the other. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oak Grove Drive near the Devil’s Gate entrance will be cleared and the hauls will split in two; one taking Berkshire Place, and the other La Cañada Flintridge ramp.

When school is out, hauling from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be done along Oak Grove Drive, in both directions, between Devil’s Gate and Berkshire Place.

The project is gargantuan in scope.

It is anticipated that about 400 daily runs will take place for 10 months in each of the next four years.

Some 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment are to be dispatched with, which is the volume equivalent of three Rose Bowls filled with sediment, is how LA County Public Works spokesman Edel Vizcarra described it last week.

The county tweeted Monday morning: “Moving the material enables #LACounty to increase downstream flood protection and create permanent areas for habitat restoration, recreation and reservoir maintenance.”

The project was and is still controversial, with local activists qualifying the measure as an environmental catastrophe.

Not only is the site itself being damaged, they say, surrounding neighborhoods will bear the brunt of dust from the hauled loads and particulate matter emitted by diesel trucks that will be doing them.

But that has all been hashed over. The debate may still be roiling, but the truck has left the garage.

Pasadena City Councilmember Victor Gordo said, “I’m surprised to learn that the county has accounting for traffic and other related issues in La Cañada, but has failed to do so for Pasadena and Altadena. Working with some of the neighbors, I’m going to be asking the City to rectify that. The neighborhoods on the west side of Pasadena and Altadena deserve the same level of service being afforded to La Cañada and the La Cañada school district.”

He continued, “I’m working with together with a group of neighbors from Pasadena and Altadena. We’re developing recommendations that we will bring to the City’s attention and if need be asked that the matter be agendized for discussion. My hope is that a plan can be achieved administratively. We’re looking for better mitigation than we’ve seen.”

Altadena Town Councilwoman and Corresponding Secretary Dorothy Wong, who is also Chairperson for the Safe Streets Committee in Altadena observed that, although the traffic study for the project is still being done, the traffic has already been unleashed.

The Councilwoman expressed concern, “as vulnerable road users must move in dangerous bicycle lanes, and no sidewalks, being sandwiched between 50-foot long trucks, cones, and cars.”

Wong urged the County to redouble its efforts on project safety so as, “not to lose one life in this project.”

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