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Work to start this month on 4-year Devil’s Gate Dam sediment removal project

Work to start this month on 4-year Devil’s Gate Dam sediment removal project
L.A. County Public Works Department announced Friday that work will begin this month on its 4-year habitat restoration and sediment removal project behind the Devil's Gate Dam in the Arroyo Seco, photographed in 2011. (Raul Roa / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Work will start this month on a major, four-year-long project at Devil’s Gate Dam that will include restoration of wildlife habit and the removal of 1.7 million cubic yards of built-up sediment behind the aging dam in the Arroyo Seco, according to the Los Angeles County Public Works Department.

The flood-prevention project has been debated in public forums since first proposed following the 2009 Station fire, which was a contributing factor to the buildup of debris behind the concrete dam. A 2014 lawsuit by Pasadena environmentalists stalled the work and successfully reduced its original scope.

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County Public Works announced Friday the first phase of the project will center on a 70-plus acre swath where it will replace invasive plant species with native plants and reshape the slopes there to make it more habitable for wildlife.

Some sections of trail through the project area will be temporarily closed to hikers.

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Work building access roads that will eventually allow for the sediment to be hauled out will get underway in late October or early November, according to the news release. The actual sediment removal is expected to begin next April.

A 24-hour hotline, (800) 675-4357, has been established for the project.

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