A broken water main played havoc with traffic on Palos Verdes Drive North for about 16 hours on Monday, forcing the diversion of eastbound vehicles and clogging traffic on Rolling Hills Road, Crenshaw Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway. "About half of the South Bay seemed to be driving there," said Don Jensen, superintendent of California Water Service Co. Jensen said it was midnight before the eastbound lane of Palos Verdes was usable again.
Jensen said a main water company feeder line under the road ruptured about 600 feet east of Portuguese Bend Road. By 7 a.m., a 15-foot section of the eastbound lane had been undermined. The lane was closed between Rolling Hills Road and Palos Verdes Drive East, and eastbound traffic was diverted. Westbound traffic also was slowed. The road was temporarily paved and reopened to traffic at midnight, Jensen said.
Jensen said there was a two-inch gash in the pipe, which he attributed to metal stress. Only one residential customer, who receives water directly from the damaged portion of the line, was without service while repairs were being made, he said.
The company had no estimate of damage, Jensen said.