A Destroyed Street in the Heart of Hollywood

UPDATE: Finally, after almost a year, the damaged street was repaired.




On April 19, 2018, I filed a Pothole – Small Asphalt Repair Service Request(Service Request # 1-1003222761) for the damaged street at Franklin Avenue just west of Wilcox Avenue in the heart of Hollywood. This stretch of Franklin is a very busy thoroughfare, a major traffic artery cutting through Hollywood (north of the-always-busy Sunset and Hollywood boulevards). Not only does it serve residents of the Hollywood Hills as an important east-west street, it is necessary for commuters traveling to the Hollywood Freeway and, during summer nights when the Hollywood Bowl is in session, its a very congested exit from events. The area in question is about 100 feet long, near Franklin’s intersection with Wilcox. There are mounds and dips for 100 feet and most cars need to slow down to 5 MPH to navigate the damaged area.

How was it damaged? Here’s an excerpt from a KABC report on September 14, 2017:

“For weeks, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews have been working in the area of Franklin and Wilcox avenues repairing the damage caused by a water main break.

On the morning of July 2, a 12-inch line ruptured, turning streets into rivers. But ever since then, the roads have been shut down, and residents dealing with street closures in the busy Hollywood neighborhood are frustrated.

So why is the repair job is taking so long? The Department of Water and Power says the line that broke was installed in 1916. Because of its age and the damage to the streets, officials decided to make some major infrastructure improvements.

‘It blew. Instead of going in just to do a temporary patch, we made a decision to go in and replace 3,000 feet of main that’ll keep us out of here for another hundred years’ said Donald Williams, LADWP district supervisor.”

The horrible damaged street near Franklin and Wilcox was the result of careless and improper repair of the street after the DWP tore it up to repair the water main.

So what happened to my request? The next day I received a Closed Status report from the Bureau of Street Services with the remarks:

“Referred to DWP for Large Asphalt repairs.”

Anyone familiar with the Los Angeles DWP knows the resolution of this issue: nothing. The DWP regularly repairs broken water lines, tears up streets, and improperly refills holes and damaged roadways (once, outside my home, the DWP came out to repair a sewage leak. Two days later a private company was out there, digging up the street again. When I mentioned to the workers that the DWP had just been there, one of the workers responded: “We love the DWP. Whenever they make a repair, they f— it up and we get called in to fix it right.”) (Plus, the DWP has an inordinate stranglehold on the city of Los Angeles: the city and its attorneys have been powerless in holding the DWP accountable in a scandal in which millions of dollars of taxpayer monies went missing at the agency, ostensibly a city-run agency but one that has become too big to control).

So, the street remains a disaster.