It’s been less than a week since the news has dropped and a couple of days after my non-Pulitzer followup, but things are happening along the LA River and it’s coming fast.
I have to thank those on Facebook who have been keeping up with this, especially Eben Lerner, who I haven’t met yet, probably because he must spend 25 hours a day following this issue.
First, the good news? The majority of the barriers that will be placed along the river will be on the non-bike path eastern side. The other breath of fresh air is that the path should stay open south of the Hyperion Bridge. Hopefully, Coffee Camp will still be able to hang on the north side.
Here’s a map released by the Army Corp of Engineerings highlighting the closures:
As for ripping the bandaid off quickly, yes, the bike path will be closed starting next week on Tuesday from the northern Riverside entrance down to Glendale Blvd. for two weeks while they install the temporary barriers. The Alex Baum Bridge will still be open, so thanks?
What I haven’t been able to confirm, is whether those sections of the bike path will reopen after the construction. You’re welcome to read through for clarity the Army Corp’s FAQ, which only an engineer could love. Even if it were to reopen, those four foot barriers are expected to be placed on the bike path, meaning, if cyclists are asked to walk, you know everyone’s not going to follow.
The other piece of bad news is that instead of reopening in mid-April, the closures are allowed to continue all the way until May 11th.
One thing I didn’t see mention on the documents was access being blocked on the Sunnybrook Bridge, the little pedestrian bridge just south of Los Feliz Blvd. Thanks to Steven Frein for the heads up on this and supplying some pics:
Sunnybrook Bridge Closures(via Steven Frein)
I don’t know if the Sunnybrook Bridge is just a temporary measure while work starts on the east bank, but losing pedestrian access in this stretch is even more compounded with the safety compromised Hyperion Bridge just to the south.
Yesterday, I drove by on the I-5 during midday(forgive me. I had a trunkful of stuff to take to Long Beach) and already saw a large crew of workers mainly on the east bank. The oddest thing I caught was someone up on those giant electrical towers along the westside hosing down the apparatus. I guess the rain wasn’t enough.
If there’s any ray of sunshine, it’s that the bike path should stay open along the west bank south of Glendale, where all the homes and businesses lay. Getting there will still be an issue, as it’s already awkward to enter/exit the bike path at this point.
Still, I’m curious as to if all this added work is necessary. We’ve had rain storms and El Nino before and this hasn’t been an issue in my memory. I hope there’s something here I don’t know.