By Mary O’KEEFE
The Devil’s Gate Reservoir Sediment Removal project is finally beginning after years of debate and environmental studies.
The four-year project will remove about 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment. The process is to return the dam to a fully operational status.
“It is managing the natural resources for community resources,” said Mark Pestrella, director of Los Angeles County Public Works.
He compared the need for debris removal to control water to what happens when a bathtub overflows. When a bathtub overflows, the water reaches the rim and then can travel in any direction. The same can happen if the reservoir goes over the spillway.
“That doesn’t give us any control,” he said. “[The water] might end up in the Rose Bowl, or in neighborhoods.”
Pestrella worries about flooding every time it rains.
“We are warning people down stream every year, to let them know we don’t have those controls if there is a significant [rain] event in LA,” he added.
Phase One of the project is Habitat Restoration and will begin this month and is scheduled to run through 2022. Phase Two: Access Road Construction and Vegetation Removal is scheduled from November 2018 to March 2019. Phase Three: Sediment Removal is scheduled from April 2019 to November 2022.
During the vegetation removal phase, there will be about five trucks making 25 round trips daily. Pestrella said Public Works understands the traffic issues and concerns of the residents in the area.
“We plan to use the [Foothill] 210 freeway in both directions,” he said.
Public Works will build a ramp that goes straight from Devil’s Gate to the 210 so trucks won’t travel on local residential streets.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory overflow parking is in a dirt lot near the area where Public Works will be working but it will not be affected by the debris removal.