The Meaning of Hahamongna

The original settlers of the region were sometimes called the Hahamongna Indians. The word means "Flowing Waters, Fruitful Valley" in the native Tongva language.

Hahamongna News


New Hahamongna Route Option Would Drastically Cut Truck Traffic





Dan Abenschein


Altadena Patch


An option to store mud and debris from the Devil's Gate Dam clean-out project could almost completely eliminate heavy truck traffic on Altadena streets that would otherwise likely happen this summer.

The truck traffic would be the result of a plan to clear out 25,000 cubic yards of debris in the dam this summer to help clear it out and prevent it from overflowing in future winter storms. The County Department of Public Works has been planning the work for this summer with proposed street routes in Altadena and La Canada Flintridge for trucks when they are en route to the 210 Freeway.

But at a meeting last week, county officials presented a new option that would involve storing most of the debris in a ground basin with the Hahamongna Watershed Park (that option is outlined in green in the map on right). That would involve an almost complete reduction of truck traffic, according to Bob Spencer, a department spokesman.

The trucks would still be on the streets for minimal hauling of non-organic garbage and boulders, but the vast majority of the dam's contents is dirt that would be stored on site under that plan, Spencer said.

The trade-off is that the dirt would likely have to be removed from the site at a later date when the department carries out its full task of removing the almost 2 million cubic yards of dirt that are in the dam site. That full project will require an environmental impact review as it would involve removal of dozens of acres of trees in the Hahamongna park.

Spencer said that if the department decides to store the debris on site it's unclear when or if it will be removed: that would be decided as part of the department's long term removal plan.

He noted that at last week's meeting there was some opposition to that storage plan because of concerns that the dirt would be stored on site to be used to build soccer fields in Hahamongna, a Pasadena city plan that local environmentalists have opposed for years.

At the meeting, department officials recommended the storage plan, but also said that when dirt is ultimately removed, they'd recommend the Altadena route rather than the La Canada Flintridge one.

That would involve trucks traveling up through Jet Propulsion Laboratory parking, then onto the streets starting at the intersection of Windsor and Ventura in Altadena. The trucks would then travel up and down Windsor to the 210 Freeway.

Altadena residents at the meeting voiced strong opposition to that plan, and it could have a huge impact in the long run. For the full plan of removing the 2 million cubic yards, the project could require 300 to 400 truckloads of dirt being removed on a daily basis for 9 months of the year for three to four years, according to the county's preliminary planning documents.

Redmond Carolipio contributed to the reporting in this story


steve lamb
6:17am on Thursday, June 2, 2011
This is an EXCELLENT solution. I have to say whoever at the County thought it up had their thinking cap on and is brilliant. It moves sediment from the most critical area, allowing the dam to serve in case of flood and it allows the County to get those permits from state agencies it didnt need until the State government changed it's feeble mind a couple weeks ago, so it can use the least impactful least costly route to remove the debris.

Altadena Cycling Gal
7:44am on Thursday, June 2, 2011
I personally am saddened to see Johnson Field turned into a debris pile for the coming years. Can this 100-yard wide basin actually be able to house 25,000 cubic yards of sediment? Then in a couple years after the EIR, the trucks and tractors will return only to dig it back up (along with its new residents) and move it again, so isn't that double the impact?

There will still be diesel dump trucks coming in and out JPL - Windsor... (from Don Bremner's report) the County estimates "about 3,750 cubic yards of organic matter - larger debris like tree limbs. At 10 cubic yards per truck, it would take 375 truckloads to remove it. The work is expected to last three or four weeks, five days a week, meaning roughly 20 truckloads a day on Windsor, or an average of one each direction every half hour from 7:30 am to 5 pm."

The Field has been a great stopping point in the Wash with water fountain and benches (even a bathroom that is never open for use) for us to sit, relax and enjoy the sunset. This could be an amazing opportunity for innovative solutions (why not bio diesel trucks?) to minimize impact. Why is it so hard to acknowledge the Hahamonga is not just a dam or a place to spend grant money for soccer fields, but home to many natural treasures in this watershed and nature corridor.

8:00am on Thursday, June 2, 2011
All this clamoring around looking for routes is ridiculous! The flood control is bowing to political pressure and expediency. The faster it gets done the longer it takes Altadenans to wade through the county morass to stop it. I am amazed that the storage idea came up. That county employee should get a promotion!
That said, the Woodbury street area at the dam face is the logical place to stage this sediment removal route. The sooner the county gets busy on this obvious exit the better. When the dam was fortified back in the late '90s, the southwest corner of the dam was heavily used. Considering the size of Woodbury in that area, it can easily accomodate trucks of this size. Further, there are no buildings at that point. The closest one is Hillside Learning Center and they are around the bend and across the street from the dam. The freeway could be easily accessed off of Windsor; and, during certain times, the route off Oak Grove to the freeway could also be used.

A permanent solution to this far too ignored problem should be put in place. Maybe, if the route was simpler, the flood control could schedule ongoing maintenance. What an idea!

Barbara Ellis
9:18am on Thursday, June 2, 2011
I, too will be very sad to see Johnson's Field become a pile of mud. Also, it flooded this year and is likely to do the same the next two years. How will they prevent the water washing all the mud back down to the dam again?

Marietta's solution is an excellent idea. Why not take the trucks straight out onto Woodbury, which has no houses along it? Any traffic on Woodbury inconvenienced by this could easily make a small detour along the freeway to the Berkshire exit.