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Delays squared away, 4-year Devil’s Gate sediment hauling now expected to begin Monday

The Devil’s Gate Reservoir restoration project is scheduled to begin in mid May and will be impacted
Hauling for the Devil’s Gate Dam Sediment Removal project is expected to begin Monday, May 20, watched with interest not only by city and county officials but also by a contingent of concerned residents who have vowed to minimize its associated health hazards.
(James Carbone / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Trucks will begin hauling tons of sediment from behind Devil’s Gate Dam on Monday morning, after the installation of air monitors around Hahamongna Watershed Park and a forecast of rain delayed the project’s start by one week, county officials said.

Earlier this week three of six air-quality monitoring stations had been set up near the project site, including one on the La Cañada High School campus, according to Edel Vizcarra, a government relations representative for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

A fourth monitoring station was to be up later this week with two smaller units to follow, Vizcarra said, but weather forecasts calling for rain showers Thursday caused officials to push back the hauling schedule to Monday.

“We didn’t want to start hauling until we had the monitors up and running correctly,” Vizcarra said. “And we don’t work when it rains — there’s a 24-hour delay period.”

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In the week leading up to the big dig, empty trucks have been coming into Hahamongna to be inspected for compliance and weighed so their eventual payloads can be quantified later, county Public Works deputy director Steve Burger confirmed Tuesday.

“It’s just a pre-check of the trucks to make sure they meet all of our requirements,” Burger said, clarifying no trucks are allowed on residential streets outside hauling routes.

Once the digging begins, sediment haulers will take access roads to and from Hahamongna Park to Oak Grove Drive, where trucks will access the Foothill (210) Freeway via Berkshire Avenue in La Cañada and Altadena’s Windsor Avenue. Hauling will take place from April through November, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Throughout La Cañada High’s school year, trucks will enter and exit from the Windsor side from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. to mitigate morning school drop-off traffic. After 10 a.m., trucks will enter using Windsor and exit via Berkshire Avenue.

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During the summer when school is out of session, trucks will enter and exit Hahamongna to the freeway using Berkshire Avenue.

Vizcarra said a sheriff’s deputy will issue citations to trucks that fail to comply with “strict directives” relating to speed, dust and route directions, while a project manager will remain on site during hauling hours.

“We’re going to be there to make sure the contractor is accountable and to make sure residents in the community, the city and the schools have access to us — we’re committed to making sure things go right.”

Residents with questions or concerns about the project are invited to call the Devil’s Gate Hotline at (626) 458-2507. Information on the project can be found online at devilsgateproject.org.

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