from: Danny Jensen, LAist.com –
The $1.3 billion plan to make the L.A. River into a lovely, scenic destination instead of a concrete-encased channel just took a major leap forward by winning approval in Washington D.C.
Mayor Garcetti just received unanimous support from the Army Corps of Engineers for the now plan to restore the natural ecosystem of an 11-mile stretch of the river. The plan involves transforming more than 700 acres in and around the largely concrete-encased river from from Griffith Park to Downtown. Plans include widening and landscaping of parts of the river, allowing for vegetation, exposing small streams, taking out invasive plants and creating marsh areas. There would also be recreational areas added with trails, viewing areas, pedestrian bridges and educational features. The ringing endorsement from the Civil Works Review Board of the Army Corps echoes support expressed last year. Garcetti heralded the accomplishment, “Today is the culmination of more than a decade of work and marks an important milestone in our efforts to restore the Los Angeles River.”
The plan will next go before the Army Corps’ chief engineer for approval. If given the green light, the Army Corps could then begin pitching the project to Congress for funding authorization as part of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, according to the KCET. Funding for the pricey project is obviously a contentious issue, and questions about who will foot the bill are likely to continue. Garcetti said last year that the federal government would split the cost of the project, costing the city somewhere around $500 million. But other reports suggest the city’s share could be much higher.
In the meantime, there are still plenty of rad ways of exploring the L.A. River this summer. And this cool video, produced in part by KCET to help promote the Mayor’s plan, offers a great history of the river, along with what might be in store: