Construction on Lindero plans to end in February 2024

Delays over infrastructure project frustrate OPHS drivers


Lindero Canyon Road, one of the main access routes for Oak Park High School students, has been undergoing construction since fall of 2021. The increased traffic is due to a long-term emergency interconnectivity project – the goal is to link two water districts, Calleguas and Las Virgenes. The districts say that this project will serve the Oak Park community by ensuring it has water in the rare case that a pipe bursts during a natural disaster.

The project is currently slated to finish in February 2024.

“Construction is a dynamic process and subject to change,” Dan Drugan, Calleguas Municipal Water District Manager of Resources and Public Affairs, said. 

The impact of this ongoing construction affects Oak Park High School’s entire student population, whether those students are local or out-of-district. Some high schoolers say that with lanes cut off on each side of the road, it takes additional time to get to their classes. As cars avoid the traffic on Lindero, Kanan Road tends to get clogged with more and more commuters. It also limits cyclists, hikers and pedestrians’ access to Lindero Canyon, with white K-rail walls blocking views of nature.

“I was coming home from the Westlake Promenade on a Friday afternoon and it took 20 extra minutes because of the construction traffic,” senior Julia Johnson said.

In July 2018, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District sold roughly an acre of Lindero Canyon land to the Calleguas Municipal Water District for $100,000 to go toward a pump and pressure-reducing station and interconnectivity project. Back in 2018,  Lindero neighbors voiced “concerns” about the project, regarding expected “noise, traffic and access,” according to the Ventura County Star.

“I think it’s a tough situation, as it feels like we’ve been on the edge of a construction zone for a long time,” senior Arushi Mathur said. “But I understand the need for this project, as there’s no community here without our water. We might need this backup in case something goes wrong. I sure hope they finish soon.”

“Calleguas and its contractor will endeavor to minimize construction impacts on the public,” Calleguas’s website said. 

During night construction and some weekends, the intersection of Kanan and Lindero Canyon Road might be blocked off by a block-long concrete wall, forcing residents to make U-turns to get back to Lindero. This will continue until the end of February. 

“The Calleguas water system currently relies on a single point of connection to receive imported water. Calleguas and the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District are constructing an interconnection to improve the redundancy and reliability of both water systems,” the Calleguas website states.“Calleguas appreciates the patience and understanding of local residents during the construction of this vital water supply reliability project.”