Mayor Garcetti Launches LADWP Earthquake Resistant Water Pipe Installation Adjacent to Northridge Hospital, Epicenter of 1994 Quake
Seismic Upgrade to Improve Water Reliability to Critical Medical Facility and Surrounding Community
|LOS ANGELES (January 16, 2015)–On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Northridge Hospital Medical Center today announced the installation of approximately 6,500 feet of high-tech Earthquake Resistant Ductile Iron Pipe (ERDIP) on streets surrounding the Northridge Hospital Medical Facility. The ERDIP installation is part of an LADWP pilot project that adheres to the Mayor’s Resilience Plan and only the third ERDIP project in the entire United States. The pipe’s innovative, segmented design provides flexibility that allows up to one percent axial movement and up to eight degrees rotation to deal with the strains associated with earthquakes, landslides, and temperature changes. Forces exceeding one percent of the pipe length cause a locking mechanism to activate to keep pipe joints from pulling apart.
“We are standing at the epicenter of the Northridge earthquake to usher in a new era of resiliency for our city and install 6,500 feet of earthquake resistant piping to protect our water supply in the event of an earthquake,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Under my earthquake plan for Los Angeles, we are no longer waiting for an earthquake to jolt us into action – we are being proactive and taking action today. My plan will fortify our water supply, retrofit our most vulnerable buildings, and secure our communications infrastructure to save lives and our economy after the next big earthquake in Los Angeles.”
“There is no life without water, and access to clean, potable water after a major earthquake will make the critical difference in how many lives are saved and how quickly our City rebounds,” said Councilmember Mitchell Englander, 12th District. “I can think of no more appropriate place than Northridge Hospital to ensure this vital access to clean, safe water is secured.”
The water distribution mains in this area were already targeted for replacement, but the added enhancement of the ERDIP will greatly benefit the medical center and the surrounding neighborhood by providing a more reliable network for clean drinking water and firefighting capability in the event of another major earthquake.
“The hospital relies on the City of Los Angeles and LADWP to secure its access to water and electricity”, says Saliba Salo, President/CEO of Dignity Health Northridge Hospital. “We are thrilled that our site was purposely selected as an important community asset. After all, as we saw during the Northridge earthquake, during a crisis, the community will look to us for urgent medical needs and we need to be able to provide the basics such as water and electricity. “
Work will take place on Reseda Boulevard from Roscoe to Strathern; Etiwanda Avenue from Roscoe to Strathern; Cantara Street from Reseda to Etiwanda; and Strathern Street from Reseda to Etiwanda. Construction began in October 2014 and work is expected to be completed in December 2015.
“The main purpose of this project is to improve seismic reliability in the water distribution system, replace aging infrastructure, improve water quality, and train LADWP crews in the installation of this pipe,” said Joe Castruita, LADWP Head of Water Distribution. “LADWP will begin construction on three more pilot projects this year at strategic sites critical to the reliability of the city’s overall water system.”
The ERDIP is manufactured by the Kubota Corporation of Japan and has a slightly higher cost than the standard pipe that LADWP uses. The Department needs to ensure that replacement program is cost effective while replacing deteriorating pipes and improving seismic resilience. As it would be cost prohibitive to replace all 7,200 miles of pipe in the water system with ERDIP, the Department will focus ERDIP construction on sites that have been deemed critical to the function of the entire water system in the event of another major earthquake.
The estimated overall project cost for all five pilot project sites is approximately $10 million. The Northridge Hospital site has an estimated overall project cost of $5.2 million. LADWP’s first pilot site was completed in spring 2013 on Contour Drive in Sherman Oaks, a residential area south of Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley with 1,750 feet of 6-inch diameter ERDIP installed.
The three additional pilot sites will break ground later this year in the Harbor District on 94th Street, the Central District on Temple Street at Figueroa, and the Western District on Coliseum Street, between Genesee and Carmona. Placement of ERDIP in these critical areas will increase their resiliency in the event of an earthquake, allowing LADWP crews to focus on smaller pipe repairs that will not be as time consuming. This will help speed up water restoration to residents at a critical time.
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