Laurel Canyon Boulevard in area of closure. Image via Google Maps
Laurel Canyon Boulevard in area of closure. Image via Google Maps

There’s some good news for Laurel Canyon commuters Monday trying to make their way across the Hollywood Hills.

The southbound side of Laurel Canyon Boulevard was open to traffic, even though motorists headed north on the heavily traveled road were being detoured to side streets as a result of damage from last week’s heavy rainfall.

The road was closed Wednesday from West Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley after a massive portion of concrete from a 1925 hillside home slid down and blocked Laurel Canyon.

No one was hurt, but the couple living in the home had to be evacuated and the structure was “red-tagged,” meaning people were barred from entering due to danger from additional mudslides.

Officials from the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, in coordination with contractors and geologists, have determined it is now safe to allow limited traffic through Laurel Canyon, department officials said.

Concrete K-rails have been installed in the mudslide area and the property owner’s contractor removed what was left of a deck that was undermined by a slide, the city said.

Northbound traffic will be detoured to Laurel Canyon Road between Kirkwood and Mount Olympus drives and parking will be restricted. Southbound traffic, however, can now use the affected stretch of Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

Trucks over 6,000 pounds are prohibited and people who don’t live in the area are urged to take alternative routes.

The slide was reported early Wednesday afternoon at a residence perched above Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the 8100 block of West Gould Avenue. It resulted in the closure of the road from Gould Avenue to Kirkwood Drive as a precaution.

Laurel Canyon Boulevard is a heavily used artery for motorists traveling between the San Fernando Valley and L.A.’s Westside.

Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu introduced an emergency motion at Friday’s council meeting that authorized funding for city staff to  work as needed over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend on Laurel Canyon Boulevard.

The couple who rent the endangered home, which was built in 1925, was safely evacuated after the ground on which the house stands was weakened. Then, around 2:40 p.m. Wednesday, a 9,000-pound slab of concrete from the foundation and retaining wall, which was attached to a patio, slid down the hillside and landed below near Laurel Canyon Boulevard, which became blocked by debris.

No one was hurt, but the home was red-tagged, meaning it is unsafe to enter. Neighboring homes, one to the south and another to the north, were yellow-tagged, meaning access is allowed with caution advised, and those residents were told to stay out of their backyards.

Dave Lara of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety said the collapse took out part of a fence and some ground. Firefighters placed sand bags to divert rain. Another mud slide was reported in the neighborhood Thursday morning amid steady rainfall.

—City News Service

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