The detour and road closure signs are finally coming down around Rowena Avenue and West Silver Lake Drive after a long-delayed water pipeline project has been completed. This afternoon, Councilman Tom LaBonge and DWP officials will hold a ceremony marking the re-opening of West Silver Lake Drive south of Rowena Avenue, which has been shut down since March of last year for a water line construction project. The Silver Lake streets were scheduled to reopen by the end of last summer but unexpected delays stretched construction into this year, leaving motorists to take a circuitous detour through winding, narrow streets and forcing the MTA to reroute bus service. The construction delay even prompted the cancellation of a popular Silver Lake Halloween party for fear children might tumble into 30-foot-deep construction holes. Despite the delays, city officials say the new water pipeline, part of what is called The River Supply Conduit Improvement project, is worth the effort.
A press release issued by LaBonge’s office said:
The River Supply Conduit Improvement is a Department of Water and Power Infrastructure project, constructing a new water line that will run through areas of Griffith Park and the Los Feliz and Silver Lake communities. It will replace the existing Lower Reach of the River Supply Conduit built in the 1940’s. The new pipeline will allow for greater operational flexibility of the LADWP water distribution system and is required for compliance with federally-mandated water quality regulations. Eventually, this new infrastructure will replace the Silver Lake Reservoir as a source of drinking water for downstream Los Angeles neighborhoods.
The reopening of West Silver Lake Drive, however, does not mean Silver Lake will be detour-free. Pipeline construction in other parts of the neighborhood is expected to to require more road work on portions of Rowena, Riverside and Fletcher drives through the end of the year.