HOLLYWOOD HILLS—One of the most famous and popular hiking areas in Los Angeles County will be closing for four months for construction. Runyon Canyon, in Hollywood Hills, will be inaccessible to the public beginning on April 1 due to an aging 6-inch water main pipe that stretches one mile through the park, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
All of the 137-acre park, except for the yoga field, will be closed to the public for the duration of the repairs and replacement of the water main, noted a spokesman for City Councilman David Ryu, whose district includes the park.
Most of the 6-inch water pipe was built in 1926, and recent LADWP data reported that 15 pipe leaks took place from 2010 to 2013.
Construction will primarily take place on weekdays, beginning at 7 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Weekend work will occasionally be necessary.
Keeping the park open during construction was considered by city officials, but it would have raised the cost, safety concerns, and would have doubled construction time to eight months.
“You’d have all these pipes exposed,” said Estevan Montemayor, the communications director for Ryu. “We were concerned that folks would get injured.”
In regards to future safety for the public, according to Montemayor, the replacement project is “critical” because the fire department depends on the piping system to fight fires. The new pipe is expected to provide better fire protection and improve water quality for the park, the LADWP said.
The park construction is expected to be completed by July 31, 2016.