New Elysian Valley Bike Path Getting Asphalt

January 30, 2010 § 10 Comments

Fresh new bike path asphalt behind the Great Heron Gate

The Los Angeles River Bike Path under construction through Elysian Valley is looking more and more complete. Biking past it at Fletcher Drive today, I saw the city’s contractor’s crews putting down its new dark black asphalt surface. The new surface replaces a worn and root-rutted old access road with various dips and cracks.

After the jump are more details about the bikeway construction schedule, and some observations bicycling along the river today.

In case you want all the glorious details on this bikeway project, LA Creek Freak has ’em. We wrote about the overall project including legal struggles, then the groundbreaking, the start of construction, and the new undercrossing at Fletcher Drive. We figure we can milk this one for a few more articles as construction is completed, and ribbon-cutting ceremonies commence.
I was happy to run into the city Bureau of Street Services Ferdy Chan out at the river today. He’s the engineer who oversees a lot of the city’s bike projects. I asked him when he thought construction would be complete on this bikeway. At the groundbreaking ceremony, the target completion date had been announced as  February 2010. Ferdy was hesitant to commit to a specific date as there was a recent change order. The soon-to-be installed lighting was upgraded to be energy-saving LEDs, and that change order is resulting in some delay. Public Works inspector Tony Rios said that the path should be complete in about a month.

Tony Rios (left), Ferdy Chan (right) and a city staffer who declined to let me know his name (center)

I asked Ferdy about the bikeway fence-poles that had been knocked over in the high water flows during last week’s rains. He responded that the poles worked as designed. They’re built on hinges, and when water and debris press against them, it breaks a small bolt at the base allowing the pole to lie down, instead of bending or breaking.

One of the downed bikeway fenceposts, earlier this week

A closer shot of the hinge at the base of the post; the broken screw is visible on the right

 Today the asphalt crew was only surfacing the stretch from Fletcher Drive to the 2 Freeway. They’ll be making their way downstream for the next week or so.

I continued biking downstream through Elysian Valley. After rains, the river has a sort of bathtub ring of debris (mentioned before), which shows the high water mark from the last storm.

The debris line a little above halfway up the channel walls

In addition to folks walking and bicycling, there were quite a few out fishing. There weren’t any spectacular barehanded fishing adventures, but I did come across a couple of men who, sans fishing pole, were using a small handheld net to catch lots of fish that had been trapped in a side channel area that had become separated from the main stem of the river.

Fishermen and their catch

They’d already caught about 40 fish!

The day's catch - as far as I can tell, all smallish golden carp. Each fish about 6-10 inches long.

Egrets were out fishing too, in similar isolated side channel ponds (though they’re a bit shier about having their picture taken.)

In January, the river looks a little more ragged than usual . The foliage is at its thinnest and shows a lot of yellows and brownish grays. There’s more visible trash at this time of the year. Some of the trash will dry up and fall down and be swept out to sea – causing lots of problems there.  Much of the remaining trash will become less visible as the trees leaf out in the spring.

The mighty Los Angeles dressed up in her winter colors

This year’s El Niño is predicted to keep showering us through at least March, so I expect that there will be more high waters, more debris, and, soon, three more miles of bike path to bring folks down by the Los Angeles River.

One more shot of the newly asphalted bike path

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§ 10 Responses to New Elysian Valley Bike Path Getting Asphalt

  • I see quite a different view of the River, including an Elmo doll the size of a toddler stuck in all the rain debris. I’ll send some pictures this week.

  • […] bike — two flats at the same time, from the same pothole. Creek Freak notes improvements to the Elysian Valley Bike Path. The issue isn’t why more men support vehicular cycling, but why so few women ride. Riding […]

  • Ron Milam says:

    Wow, after all these years, I’m excited that the city is moving forward with this project! I look forward to riding it. Thanks for the coverage (and for all of your work in making this a reality).

  • Molly says:

    Nice update, as usual. I’m looking forward to riding this section..

  • Joe Linton says:

    Hmmm… I just read in the City Bikeways Engineer’s Bicycle Advisory Committee report that they estimate a May 2010 completion date… and a friend mentioned that Councilmember LaBonge told him that there would be a May grand opening. Hopefully all that means is that the project will be done soon, and that the city is scheduling the opening festivities a few months off to be sure all is complete and ready.

    The path remains very rideable! Go check it out.

  • […] 29, 2010 by ladotbikeblog So there was a recent post in The Eastsider LA (also covered in L.A. Creek Freak) about the newly paved section of bike path running through Elysian Valley.  We’re pretty […]

  • […] there was a recent post in The Eastsider LA (also covered in L.A. Creek Freak) about the newly paved section of bike path running through Elysian Valley.  We’re pretty […]

  • Chris says:

    Welcome to the neighborhood. The path is almost finished – please slow down and watch for pedestrians! Unlike the north end of the path from Fletcher to Travel town, this stretch is in a densely populated residential neighborhood. Plenty of families with small children and old people who have been walking the path for 70 years and can’t physically get out of your way fast enough. Also we are very mixed ethnicly. Even we English speakers don’t always understand what “To the right” means.
    Welcome to Elysian Valley. Please slow down. That pedestrian you hit, might be my mom.

  • Benjamin Cole says:

    Ditto on the bikers who think they own the road. I have been walking my dog there for years, and my son too. Bikers screaming “on your right” and whistling past…please we need speed bumps. Go slow.

  • […] there was a recent post in The Eastsider LA (also covered in L.A. Creek Freak) about the newly paved section of bike path running through Elysian Valley.  We’re pretty […]

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