The Venice Dual Force Main Project cuts across Marina del Rey Harbor between a city pumping station and the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey

Tunneling and trench work to replace an aging sewer line that runs under Via Marina began last weekend near Marquesas Way, temporarily reducing traffic flow to a single lane in the immediate work area.

The Venice Dual Force Main Project connects the city’s Venice Pumping Plant on Hurricane Avenue to the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa del Rey, replacing an existing line that sanitation officials say is more than 50 years old and at severe risk of rupture.

“We expect tunneling activities to occur for several months in the marina,” said Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation Engineer Gevork Mkrtchyan, construction manager for the sewer project.

Work has already been under way near The Jungle neighborhood of lower Playa del Rey, where residents have complained about lane closures on Culver Boulevard, Pacific Avenue and Trolleyway causing potentially dangerous conditions for drivers and pedestrians.

“With summer bringing more people, strollers, children and bicycles, this intersection must be monitored by police who can enforce illegal stops, illegal U-turns and illegal three point turns,” reads an email complaint by neighborhood activist Jan Hagaan.

Bureau of Sanitation officials deny that their work is putting anyone at risk.

“We have no knowledge of anything at that intersection causing life-threatening situations,” Mkrtchyan said. “We have designated U-turns on Pacific Avenue and soon we’ll be adding more signage in The Jungle to guide motorists in the right direction so they’ll know where construction is taking place.”     

— Gary Walker