Plugging up Silver Lake pedestrian tunnel will cost $160,000

The Sunset Boulevard pedestrian tunnel pictured in 2011.

The Sunset Boulevard pedestrian tunnel pictured in 2011.

SILVER LAKE — It would cost about $160,000 and more than a year to permanently seal off a pedestrian tunnel underneath Sunset Boulevard that officials say has become filled with trash and a haven for drug users.

The cost and construction estimates from the Bureau of Engineering were provided in response to a request by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell to have the 75-foot-long tunnel underneath Sunset Boulevard at Golden Gate Avenue closed for good after years of complaints.  The eight-foot wide tunnel was constructed in 1924 to create a safe passage for pedestrians walking to and from Micheltorena Street Elementary.

The $160,000 estimate include the design and project management, demolition, construction of concrete closure slabs, new curbs, gutters, ramps as well as the relocation of utilities.   Completing the project – including design, seeking bids and construction – would take about 13 months.

The city, however, has not yet budgeted funds for the tunnel closure.

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  1. We should just plug it up with trash. I bet if we all pitched in we could get that baby filled in no time!

  2. $160K for some bricks and cement?

    Shenanigans. Did they pay an “expert” $20,000 to come up with that estimate?

  3. Why don’t they just “AirBnB” it?

  4. Or, why not clean up the tunnel, install lights and keep it open for children and pedestrians to use during hte daytime? After dark, lock it up. Simple.

    • To clean up the tunnel and police the drug users, keep it safe with regular patrols, keep it free of trash and graffiti … That would cost more than the $160K it would cost to eliminate it. Oh, and add the expense of policing a locked gate after hours. Also, there’s now a light and crosswalk at the south-eastern end of the school, so the tunnel is no longer necessary. It was created when there were no lights on that stretch of Sunset Boulevard.

    • Carsmakepeoplestupid

      The mentality in this city and neighborhood can be ass-backwards like commenter Chapps. The community proposed to the Council Office to make this into an art gallery as was done with a pedestrian tunnel in Cypress Park. The tunnel would be sponsored by a local business and would only be used during shows and events. It would be a boon to the community and would extend the pedestrian activity further down Sunset. But no. It’s easier to destroy an historical vestige of LA than to preserve and repurpose it. Boomer mentality. Use and discard.

    • It’s locked up now. It looks secure to me from the outside but I guess it must not be.

  5. You think that a 1000 comments will make sense, to this people? We know is our hard working tax money but do they care!!

  6. Culturally Unwelcoming

    you could build solid, securely lockable cages in place of the chicken-wire contraptions there now for a fraction of $160K, and the tunnel would remain available for use.

    • That makes WAY too much sense for LA.

    • Actually, that makes no sense at all. The cost of the clean up and long term policing of a dangerous tunnel (trust me, nobody trusts walking through a dark or dimly lit tunnel – someone’s gonna get rolled or worse) is far more than simply filling it in. And remember – there’s now a signaled crosswalk just 50 or so feet away. The tunnel isn’t necessary.

      • Culturally Unwelcoming

        If the tunnel were securely caged and opened only under supervision, there would be no need of constant cleanup or long-term policing, and such cages could be installed for far less than $160,000.

  7. Plug each end with a metal dumpster turned upside down or on its side

  8. How the hell did it get so bad in the first place? Who let it get to this point? That’s where you need to start. Shame on them. Clean it up, monitor/patrol the area and get it back to what it was originally intended to be. It’s not rocket science.

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