Mayor Eric Garcetti is in DC this week trying to convince the US Army Corps of Engineers to back a huge restoration of 11 miles of the LA River. The Army Corps famously paved the river back in 1938 following many devastating floods, but Los Angeles has taken a new interest in the span in the last decade (there are dozens of projects in the works on its banks, from greening to bridges to development) and is now hoping to have a stretch from Griffith Park to Downtown completely repaired and revived so it's hospitable to wildlife and people one more.
The Corps has tentatively backed a billion-dollar rehab (the most comprehensive studied), but the pricetag has since risen to $1.3 billion; a draft environmental impact report of the project is now working its way through approvals at the agency and could be official by November. That's the easy part, though: next, the Army Corps will have to pitch the plan to Congress for funding. UPDATE: The plan passed the Army Corps' Civil Works Review Board this morning in a huge victory.
Meanwhile, as part of the campaign, Garcetti's office has released this excellent seven-minute video showing the river's wild past and concretization, its incredible ecological potential, its impact on the communities it runs through, and its possibly amazing future. Watch:
· 25 Photos of the Los Angeles River Before It Was Paved in 1938 [Curbed LA]
· Feds Now Recommending Best and Biggest LA River Restoration [Curbed LA]
· Dramatic Before/Afters From the Even-Better LA River Rehab [Curbed LA]
· A Map Guide to the Glorious Future of the Los Angeles River [Curbed LA]