Laurel Canyon Remains Closed After Cement Retaining Wall Falls Down Hillside
A half-mile stretch of Laurel Canyon Boulevard (a main artery connecting Hollywood to the Valley) remained closed Wednesday afternoon after a 9,000-pound concrete slab, which was destabilized by the rain, fell down the hillside and blocked the street.
According to KTLA, fire officials first responded to a home hanging over Laurel Canyon Boulevard on Gould Avenue just after noon today. After days of L.A. rain, a concrete patio had been destabilized, and was "threatening to fall from a home." By 12:30 p.m., the busy street was closed from Gould Avenue to Kirkwood Drive, creating a significant traffic back up.
The home in question was evacuated, and no injuries were reported, according to a Los Angeles Fire Department press release. David Graziano, a Laurel Canyon resident, told LAist that he saw mud blocking Kirkwood, fire trucks and police on the scene, along with heavy traffic.
Sometime around 2:30 p.m., a massive, 9,000-pound slab of concrete—part of the foundation and retaining wall of the home in question—detached from the house and slid down the hillside onto the boulevard below.
“Obviously the fire department made the right call and avoided tragedy today by closing off Laurel Canyon,” LAFD spokesman David Ortiz told the Daily News. “We saw a big piece — 9,000 pounds of concrete retaining wall and foundation — snap and roll down the hill very quickly, quicker than any of us can run. And obviously that was a potential killer for anyone below it.”
The road will remain closed until it is deemed safe, according to LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart, who also told LAist that they're waiting for Street Services to clean and process the scene. Stewart said that the department did not yet have a timeline for when that will occur. In the meantime, commuters will want to steer clear of the area, and can likely expect heavy traffic going over the hill.