The city of Santa Monica is replacing a water main on Ocean Avenue due to two water main breaks this week and the road will remain closed for several weeks.
City spokesperson Constance Farrell said the water main breaks are believed to be related to partial pipe corrosion. The city is replacing the entirety of the corroded pipeline and has restored water service to residents and businesses in the area, she said.
Earlier this week, the City Council discussed delaying the replacement of water mains until the city reaches its goal of becoming water self-sufficient by 2023. The city will spend $78 million on three infrastructure projects that will reduce the amount of water it imports from the regional water utility by 60%, which local officials say will save ratepayers money in the long run as the rest of Southern California bears higher rates and even rationing during the 2020s.
Councilmembers were split on whether to defer maintenance on the water mains, which would keep water bills for residents and businesses lower over the next five years but could result in unforeseen costs.
“I feel we should go for the higher rates and take care of that maintenance because I believe in the long run it will cost us more if we don’t,” Councilmember Kevin McKeown said Tuesday.
The city will close sections of Ocean Avenue while it replaces the pipeline. Motorists and cyclists are advised to seek alternate routes during these closures and to allow extra travel time to get to their destinations.
The northbound and southbound lanes on Ocean Avenue between California and Washington avenues will be closed until Friday at 5 p.m. All traffic will be detoured to 2nd Street and metered parking will be temporarily unavailable.
From Monday at 7 a.m. through Friday, Sept. 13, the city will close only the northbound lane along that stretch of Ocean Avenue and divert northbound traffic to 2nd Street. Drivers will not be able to use metered parking along that lane for those four weeks.
The city anticipates completing construction Sept. 13, but the anticipated completion date is subject to change, Farrell said. It is also planning another phase of pipeline construction on Ocean Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and California Avenue.
Questions regarding this project can be directed to the Water Resources Division at (310) 458-8736.