A large, 10-foot-by-10-foot sinkhole formed near the intersection of Lexington and Formosa avenues in West Hollywood on the afternoon of Oct. 17 after a water main burst.
The incident closed Formosa Avenue and created a large mess for nearby residents. Water had pooled on the lawns of many residences in the area, and mud lined the sidewalks down to Santa Monica Boulevard.
At least one apartment building, located at 1133 Formosa Ave., was damaged. Water flowed into the structure’s subterranean parking lot, and contractors were still pumping water out of the building by 5 p.m.
A representative of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) said the pipe that was compromised was approximately 70 years old.
“I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” resident Mark Major said, adding that the street has been “patched up” from little jobs over the years. He said the street has suffered from 75 years of deterioration, and suggested that the utility look into redoing the entire road. “We’re paying for too many years of neglect.”
Major said a similar incident occurred further south on Formosa Avenue approximately two or three years ago. During that incident, water flowed into the subterranean parking lot of a building and damaged “expensive cars,” he said.
“It just filled up completely,” Major said.
A DWP representative stated that the previous incident occurred on a different water line.
Major said the water began rushing out of the ground at approximately 12:30 p.m., when the sound of running water woke him up.
“I was sleeping, dreaming of running water, and I looked out the window and I see a tsunami,” he said.
Shortly thereafter, the sinkhole began to form, Major said.
“Once it formed, all I saw was water running through here,” he said, adding that the cracks continued to grow throughout the day.
Major said that as far as he knew, his building was fine. However, the two incidents, coupled with construction in the area recently, have taken their toll, he said.
“This is life on Formosa. This street is just phenomenal,” Major said, half in jest.
A DWP representative said the repair work has been completed, aside from paving work that is scheduled for today. Workers had to excavate to get to the pipe, and the sinkhole had been backfilled, the representative said.
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