L.A. River Bikeway Construction and Closure
August 7, 2009 § 2 Comments
Creek Freak brought you news earlier about the groundbreaking ceremonies on the Los Angeles River Bike Path segment through Elysian Valley. Today we sent our crack team of reporters and photographers out to the site to bring you the latest dirt on the project’s progress.
Some background for those of you who may be unfamiliar with this wondrous project: It’s cryptically officially known as the “Los Angeles River Bike Path Phase 1C” and unofficially known as the Elysian Valley segment of the Glendale Narrows river bikeway. Once complete it will extend about 3 miles from Fletcher Drive (which is kinda near the 2 Freeway) to Barclay Street (which is kinda near the 110 Freeway.) See a map of the future bikeway at the bottom of this earlier post. The project includes an undercrossing at Fletcher Drive.
The good news is that construction is underway. This afternoon crews were ripping up a swath of the river’s concrete walls just downstream of Fletcher Drive. The way they worked was interesting. First they had made a couple parallel concrete cuts at the edges of the trajectory of the path. The large bulldozer vehicle was cracking concrete, and the workers on foot ahead of it were using acetylene torches to heat and break rebar embedded in the concrete. There were huge piles of misshapen rebar piled up in Rattlesnake Park. Also oodles of “urbanite” – an excellent material to re-use by building passive water harvesting earthworks in one’s garden (though it’s best to urbanite without rebar.) I was tempted to get a few pieces just to say that I have L.A. River concrete in my yard. I didn’t… yet.
I was impressed with how much rebar is embedded reinforcing the concrete. Here’s a photo of pieces sticking out, just upstream of Fletcher, in an area where the rubble had already been cleared away:
Upstream of Fletcher, the crew had already started to build the forms for the future bikeway:
The bad news is that, due to construction, the bikeway there is currently closed. The closed area is a little further upstream than creek freak expected. A portion of the existing bike path (between Fletcher and Glendale Boulevard) currently is being used to accommodate construction staging and parking. As of this afternoon, the upstream bikeway is closed at Glendale Boulevard:
Downstream, the unofficial access road that serves daily as a bikeway is closed at the 2 Freeway. Today there were both a water truck and a “construction traffic only” sign blocking the bikeway there. Access points at Fletcher Drive are also closed. While it is possible to pass through the area by staying down at the bottom of the slope (that would be Down by the Los Angeles River, no?) If you try this please be very careful! There is a very slippery slimy slope area where a stormdrain lets out at Fletcher Drive – it’s very very slippery! Very dangerous!
Clearly as construction progresses on the project, the entire stretch through Elysian Valley will see construction closures, too. The project should be completed by January or February 2010.