L.A. River Bikeway Construction and Closure

August 7, 2009 § 2 Comments

Construction Closure Sign at Fletcher Drive

Construction Closure Sign at Fletcher Drive

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.

Future Bike Path Construction - View downstream from Fletcher Drive Bridge

Future Bike Path Construction - View downstream from Fletcher Drive Bridge

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:

Rebar sticking out of the Concrete River Walls

Rebar sticking out of the Concrete River Walls

Upstream of Fletcher, the crew had already started to build the forms for the future bikeway:

Wooden Forms for River Bikeway - Upstream of Fletcher Drive Bridge

Wooden Forms for River Bikeway - Upstream of Fletcher Drive Bridge

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:

Bikeway Closure just upstream of the Glendale Hyperion Bridge

Bikeway Closure just upstream of the Glendale Hyperion Bridge

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.

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§ 2 Responses to L.A. River Bikeway Construction and Closure

  • reverto says:

    Any word on the Ballona Creek bike path closure? You know, the closure which was only meant to last until February 2009 and is now going to be closed until at least November 2011?

    I’m sure that the reason for the Duquesne-to-MacManus Park segment being closed is due to the Expo Line construction, but I’d love to hear that us cyclists will be rewarded for our patience with a repaved path, and some hill stabilization to help with mud runoff east of the Hayden Tract.

    The Ballona path during this segment isn’t nearly as bumpy as the Elysian Valley part of the L.A. River Bikeway — those were frickin’ craters! — but it still needs work.

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