Thursday, April 14, 2011

Los Angeles River Cooperation Committee Approves Two New Projects

It was a full house at the April 4th quarterly meeting of the Los Angeles River Cooperation Committee, composed of representatives of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, and related agencies who have agreed to work cooperatively to implement the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan.

After the call to order and a report from the High Speed Rail (HSR) team on new proposed alignments along the Los Angeles River, especially in the Cypress Park Area, the focus turned to two new projects, which the Committee unanimously approved.

The first, the Headwaters Project, was presented by Richard Gomez (seen in the photo above) of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, which is spearheading the effort. This $7 million riverfront project, a LA County collaboration with the Los Angeles LA River Office, the City Department of Transportation and the LA County Bicycle Coalition, includes the creation of bioswales, native plants, interpretative signage and connectivity with the LA River Bicycle Path.

This project is in a key West San Fernando Valley location near De Soto and Browns Creek Bridge, and, when completed, will serve thousands of residents within its close proximity to 3 schools, Quinby Park, Topanga Plaza and other local business districts. The project anticipates completion by May 2013. It will have no channel capacity impact.

The second approved project, sponsored by the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, is located in the North Atwater Park area of the LA River and entails the building of a new 'Atwater Park Multi-Modal Crossing,' a hybrid bridge over the LA River that will allow walkers, bicyclists and equestrians to 'share the crossing' as a safe connection from Atwater to Griffith Park.

This projected $3 million project, a collaboration with Buro Happold, Fuscoe Engineering, Mia Lehrer+Associates, Gardiner+Theobald and Tetra Tech, will be a 230-280 foot long span with a 27-30 foot width. The project managers are currently evaluating arch, cable truss, and cable suspension design options.

Most importantly, the Atwater Crossing will mark the first LA River project that will totally privately funded by an enthusiastic donor, according to LA River Revitalization Corporation Board Chair Daniel Tellalian.

Other announcements included:

.April 30th is the Annual Mayor's Day of Service and this year will focus exclusively on Los Angeles River clean-up projects and events, in cooperation with Friends of the LA River and the Los Angeles River Office.  Attendees were encouraged to 'get out the volunteers' on April 30th, since the Cities of Los Angeles and Chicago are having a friendly competition to see who can get more volunteers involved in their respective river projects.

.Mark Pestrella, Los Angeles County Assistant Director of Public Works, noted that the Lake Alameda Greenway Project at Victory and Alameda in Burbank had just had its Groundbreaking. He also stated that there will be a June dedication for the retrofitting of Big Tujunga Dam, which will increase capacity by 4500 acre feet of stormwater capture. Finally, 40 acres in the Sun Valley Watershed have been purchased by the County to design and create an upper area wetland project in Sun Valley Park with LA City and LADWP partners.

The LA Zoo Parking Lot Stormwater demonstration project will be dedicated on April 7th at 9:30am.

The City of Glendale Riverwalk groundbreaking is scheduled for April 14th at noon.

The annual Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition LA River Bike Ride will be held this year on June 5th.

The next meeting of the River Cooperation Committee is scheduled for July 5, 2011.

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