Expect Sunset Boulevard Traffic Delays at Marquez Avenue for LADWP Substation Work

By Sue Pascoe
Editor

Construction of a temporary pole-top distributing station (PTDS-198), which the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) said is necessary to provide adequate power service to Pacific Palisades, started on Aug. 17 and will continue for about three months along Sunset Boulevard and Marquez Avenue.

The poles are located at 16980 Sunset (formerly the entrance to the departed Bernheimer Gardens), near the western end of Marquez Avenue).

Signage was been installed along Sunset to notify local residents and drivers, and message boards are in place.

During construction, Sunset will be reduced to one lane in each direction, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. LADWP said the reduced lanes are essential to excavate safely and position people and equipment to perform the work to install the required conduit infrastructure and the substructure. 

Residents have been warned that unless a substation is built, an additional five Pole-Top Distribution Stations will need to be constructed, such as the one on Temescal Canyon. A second one is currently in construction on Sunset at Marquez Avenue.

Residents have been warned that unless a substation is built, an additional five Pole-Top Distribution Stations will need to be constructed, such as the one on Temescal Canyon. A second one is currently in construction on Sunset at Marquez Avenue.

The approved traffic plan includes the use of temporary cones, flags and permanent message boards.

The maintenance hole substructure will be located at the painted center median of the lanes on Sunset. Work at the intersection of Sunset and Marquez will be done on a Saturday to reduce traffic impacts. Flaggers will be on-site to assist during the construction on Marquez that will extend from Sunset, to about halfway to Livorno Drive.

LADWP Spokesperson Stephanie Spicer said that PTDS-198 will be in place until a permanent distribution station is constructed and operational. The sole electrical station in Pacific Palisades, built in 1937, is located at Via de la Paz and Sunset.

By 2012, the LADWP knew that a new distribution station was sorely needed for the western side of town. When the department announced its intention to build DS-104 on its Marquez Avenue property, parents at Marquez Elementary and nearby residents objected that the station was too close to the school.

In response, then-City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and the DWP organized an 11-member task force, largely from the Marquez area, to research potential sites and provide recommendations.

LADWP staff systematically investigated the sites, even pleading with State Parks to build a DS station on Los Leones parkland (behind Fire Station 29). This request was rejected.

Residents have urged Councilman Mike Bonin to find a site and have the station finally built, but instead the PTDS poles are being installed until a suitable site is selected.

According to DWP official Eric Hartman, once a site is selected, it could take three to four years to build a new substation because of legal challenges.

This will be the second PTDS station in the Palisades. The first is located at Temescal Canyon Road and Sunset.

At a March 8 public hearing, in which the owner of the 16980 Sunset property appealed the decision to build there, DWP warned it may need to build as many as five additional PTDS in the Palisades.

The appeal by 16980 Sunset property owner Steve Sommers was denied at that hearing. Sommers had urged the DWP to instead place pad-mounted transformers, which he felt were less intrusive than the poles.

After the hearing, an appeal was made to the California Coastal Commission.

At the June 8, Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting, it was announced that the Coastal Commission unanimously ruled in favor of LADWP and did not find a credible issue of substance raised by the appellant.

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