Cross Gutter Project

Roads and sidewalks at several intersections in East Whittier are closed while the Department of Public Works replaces cross gutters that pose a hazard to bicyclists and skateboards.

Workmen pour concrete at the intersection of Landmark Drive and Cullman Avenue on July 29, 2010

Cross gutters are concrete strips running across the asphalt paving of a road in order to improve the flow of water off the streets and into storm drains. Some of the gutters have a narrow channel cut into the concrete. That channel can be a hazard. As a work foreman explained, if a cyclist catches a wheel in that groove, “He will fall.”

This cross gutter at the intersection of Tigrina Avenue and Silvergrove Drive is slated for replacement.

A newly replaced cross gutter on Elmrock Avenue at Candlelight Drive

Gary Bozé, a spokesman for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, said, “It’s a pretty extensive project.”

But he added, “This is an increase in public safety.”

The project, funded by Proposition 1B transportation bond funds, is nearing its expected completion date in October. It’s been underway, said Bozé, for about a year.

Linda Wahl, whose newly planted parkway was destroyed, is skeptical about that deadline, but she’s hoping for the best. As we chatted, the neighborhood mail carrier stopped to take a cell phone picture of the closed intersection at Red Coach Lane and Cullman Avenue. He said he wanted to be able to show his supervisor why his route was taking so much more time. He can’t park in his usual spots, and he’s got to walk around whole intersections that are blocked off.

My husband posed his bike in one of the gutters scheduled for replacement.

The bike had to be hoisted out of the channel. Just rolling it wouldn't work. A rider would likely have gone down.

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