WOODLAND HILLS : Street Repairs Still Pending After Slide

Four months after a massive mudslide uprooted a 20-yard-long stretch of a Woodland Hills street, not much has changed. The stretch of Cerrillos Drive, between Buenaventura Street and Flanco Road, was lifted more than six feet above the existing roadway by the January mudslide. The road has been impassable since.

City officials said repairs have not yet been scheduled.

"Basically, street maintenance isn't going to move on this until we get the word from the Bureau of Engineering," said Neil Spiva, supervisor of the street maintenance bureau in the West Valley. "We haven't gotten a lot of heat from the residents up there, because nobody's really blocked out."

City engineers have concluded that a complete study is needed before work begins.

"My recommendation is that nothing be done to that street before a comprehensive study is done," said Mike Michalski, director of geo-technical services for the city Bureau of Engineering. "We want to make sure that whatever is done, it doesn't make it any worse." Michalski said that improperly moving the soil beneath the roadway could cause more of the hill to slide.

Though one neighbor said she likes the feeling of living on a dead-end street, she's beginning to worry that nothing will be done about the hill before the next rainy season.

"I think it's kind of cruddy that the people who own the property aren't doing anything about it, " said Linda Wilson, who lives on Buenaventura Street near Cerrillos Drive. "The last time it rained they didn't even cover it with a tarp--that's kind of scary." Parts of the hill are owned by the Thompson Group Limited Partnership, which developed several surrounding parcels in 1988. City officials said the developer was cited by the Department of Building and Safety because the hillside should not have given way to the extent that it did in the January mudslide.

A spokesman for the Woodland Hills company could not be reached for comment Thursday.

A spokesman for Pacific Soils said the firm had been hired by Thompson to study the hillside. He declined to reveal the results of the study.

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