‘Big Dig’ Project to Resume at Devil’s Gate Reservoir

The Los Angeles Flood Control District’s Sediment Removal Project will resume “in the coming weeks,” according to an announcement by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

“Los Angeles County Public Works is preparing for its second year of work on the Devil’s Gate Reservoir Restoration Project,” the announcement said. “Workers will be remobilizing construction equipment and preparing the site for sediment removal activities in the coming weeks. A separate notification will be provided prior to the start of sediment hauling.”

The notice did not mention a specific date when sediment removal will resume.

The Devil’s Gate Reservoir Restoration Project is a four-year effort to increase flood protection for communities downstream of Devil’s Gate Dam and restore habitat within a popular section of the Arroyo Seco Watershed.

Los Angeles County Public Works plans to remove up to 1.7 million cubic yards of sediment from the reservoir that’s immediately behind the nearly 100-year-old dam.

The controversial project could last four years and eventually lead to hundreds of truck trips in and out of the Arroyo Seco daily. Known as the Big Dig, the project has come under fire by residents of Pasadena and nearby La Cañada Flintridge. It has also been assailed by the Arroyo Seco Foundation (ASF) and the Pasadena Audubon Society (PAS), both of which filed a lawsuit to stop it.

A large amount of sediment has not been removed from Devil’s Gate since 1994, when workers hauled out 160,000 cubic yards of soil and debris. An additional 1 million cubic yards of soil and debris were dumped into the basin by the Station fire in 2009, which burned more than 160,000 acres in Altadena, Pasadena, La Cañada Flintridge and Acton.

Devil’s Gate is the oldest dam constructed by the LA County Flood Control District, providing flood protection for the cities of Pasadena, South Pasadena and Los Angeles.

In addition to providing flood relief to communities that have endured nearly a decade of elevated flood risk along the Arroyo Seco, the project will also establish a permanent stormwater maintenance area that allows for the creation of 70 acres of enhanced habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for local communities.

For more information on the project, visit the project website at www.DevilsGateProject.com, or email the LA County Public Works Department at devilsgateproject@pw.lacounty.gov. You may also call the Devil’s Gate Project hotline at (626) 458-2507.