Road work begins on Coldwater

William Liu

Williams Pipeline Contractors will begin a year of construction to replace an aging pipeline on Coldwater Canyon Drive on Feb. 13. The street will only have one lane open in each direction from Rexford Drive to Monte Cielo Drive, and work is expected to finish in April 2024.

Upper School Student Discipline and Attendance Coordinator Gabriel Preciado emailed all upper school students regarding the change and possible traffic flow disruption Feb. 3. Preciado said he is unsure of how the project will impact commutes to the school.

“I’m not sure how broad the impact of this project would be,” Preciado said. “The construction project begins at 8 a.m., so my hope is that before that time, drivers are open to freely move through. But it could be that construction rushes to be there before then, which could mean more traffic.”

Lila Daoudi ’24, who drives herself to school, said the new commute will likely lead to more traffic.

“[The construction project] is definitely going to delay my route to school,” Daoudi said. “I take Laurel Canyon, but there’s probably going to be an increase in traffic. The left-hand turn on Ventura already takes me upwards of 10 minutes. The fact that it’s only going to get worse kind of sucks. People are also going to be stressed about being late, which will lead to worse driving.”

Preciado said the school will make adjustments based on how the project influences student routes.

“Our sense is that we should always make adjustments, including teachers, faculty and staff,” Preciado said. “As with the water main construction, we will make plans around it. We all live in separate areas and have different commutes and zip codes. There may be situations where there are road closures, a bus running late, and in those cases, we will make exceptions.”

Preciado said the pipeline construction should not be an excuse for tardiness in the morning.

“We still want students to get to class at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. if it is a late start,” Preciado said. “There is a misconception with the ‘grace period,’ as students seem to believe class begins at 8:05 a.m. Sometimes, there are transportation constraints and family issues, but the grace period isn’t meant to enable casual circumstances where students couldn’t get up.”

Head Prefect Yoshimi Kimura said the vague information about the closure makes it hard for her to determine which road to take to school.

“[The closure] is going to be tough since a lot of people get to school that way,” Kimura said. “I’m not very clear on what’s being closed or where it’s being closed. I’m not sure if I’m still allowed to go the way I usually do. I’m sure teachers are going to be understanding about lateness for a while, but I feel like it’s gonna hit a certain point.”