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Lanes on Foothill to close as FMWD inspects pipe behind infamous ‘dip’

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A dip in the road near 1700 Foothill Blvd. in La Cañada, seen in September, exists where a pipeline burst last April. From Dec. 8 to 14, Foothill Municipal Water District will inspect the rest of the pipe.
(File Photo)

Lane closures on Foothill Boulevard, from Alta Canyada west to Briggs Avenue, are anticipated from Dec. 8 to 14 as Foothill Municipal Water District workers inspect a 65-year-old pipeline, part of which ruptured in April.

Customers of La Cañada Irrigation District are asked to avoid outdoor irrigation and limit their indoor water use while the work is being done, though no loss of service is anticipated.

FMWD General Manager Nina Jazmadarian said the work — part of the district’s capital improvement program — was initially scheduled for spring of 2021 but was moved up after the burst pipe caused a subsidence near Foothill Boulevard’s 1700 block.

“The district wants to ensure that other sections of pipe underneath Foothill Boulevard do not have issues that need to be addressed before a similar failure occurs,” she said in a release Monday.

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What led to the sinking is at the center of a pair of lawsuits between the water retailer and the city of La Cañada Flintridge. City officials claim the burst pipe as the cause, while FMWD officials believe poor soil compaction underneath Foothill caused the pipe to burst.

In October, the La Cañada Flintridge City Council approved a $45,600 emergency contract to lay some 140 tons of concrete atop the sinking roadway to prevent excessive flooding during the rainy season.

Next week’s inspection will lead to lane closures, primarily of westbound lanes, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. as a robotic device is placed into the pipeline to determine its condition.

Jazmadarian said the robot analyzes the pipe using cameras and an electromagnetic scanner and then transmits data to workers above ground. For more information, call (818) 790-4036.

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