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Controversy Over Skybridge
Posted by Eunice Kim on Feb 4, 2014 - 11:05:40 PM

STUDIO CITY — Harvard Westlake School’s proposed plan to build a parking structure in Coldwater Canyon has remained a controversial one. Most recently, the controversy has surrounded the proposed construction of a pedestrian bridge that connects the parking structure with the main campus.


According to a press release from Save Coldwater Canyon! Inc., the premier non-profit organization opposed to the Harvard-Westlake Parking Plan, the proposed bridge is bound to collapse in even a minor earthquake. The claim is based on the findings of Wilson Geosciences, Inc., according to which the bridge is “likely to fail” because it is built on two different soil types ”“ bedrock and liquefaction ”“ contributing to its instability.

Model for the proposed bridge.


According to the study, the school’s geo-tech report is faulty because only the least critical locations of the land were examined, while steeper slopes were ignored. The study posits that the school’s proposed height for the retaining walls ”“ up to 87 feet high - is far too excessive in relation to the Baseline Hillside Ordinance maximums. Wilson Geosciences, Inc. also warns that the use of soil nails, which the school is proposing, is not recommended for walls of that height and for soils such as clay soils, expansive soils and fractured rocks.


Canyon News spoke with Vice President John Amato of Harvard-Westlake School. According to Vice President Amato, the City of Los Angeles is currently preparing a final EIR (Environmental Impact Report) that will respond to all of the issues that have been raised in the Draft EIR. “The pedestrian bridge has been designed to withstand an earthquake, and will certainly not cause an earthquake,” Vice President Amato said.


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