Garcetti Wants to Turn Concrete L.A. River into Natural Waterway

Garcetti Wants to Turn Concrete L.A. River into Natural Waterway

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is talking to the Army Corps of Engineers about turning the Los Angeles River, which is generally seen as a concrete line flood control channel, into a natural waterway, NBC reports.

Garcetti’s billion dollar proposal, which is twice the cost of the plan the Corps of Engineers envisions, would entail the city and state coming up with half of the funding, with the river having office, retail and residential dwellings line up on its sides. The plan needs approval from the federal government, which leaves kayaking down the river as the sole option available at present.

At one point of the river, called the Glendale Narrows, in the Elysian Valley, the river does indeed look like a natural waterway, and the recreation zone opened on Monday. There is a 2½ mile stretch north of Los Angles where people can fish, canoe and kayak. A similar waterway also opened in the Sepulveda basin. Both will be open until Labor Day.

Some businesses such as the Golden Road Brewery, are trying to find a home near the river to take advantage of what they think will become a thriving area when redevelopment plans are approved; some real estate speculators are also beginning to invest.