More Images of the Riverdale Green Street Project

May 27, 2010 § 4 Comments

Riverdale project under construction earlier this week

The city of Los Angeles’ Riverdale Avenue Green Street project is under construction. Creek Freak recently wrote about the project, and Kai Craig of California Eco Design commented, referring us to project renderings. Below is a photo gallery featuring those images and recent photos of the project nearly completed.

The project is located in Elysian Valley on Riverdale Avenue from Crystal Street to the Los Angeles River. The existing street is being retrofitted to restore watershed functions.  The finished project will cleanse and infiltrate runoff water, contributing to reduced water pollution and flooding, increased local water supply, and a greener neighborhood. See map and additional information in this earlier post.

Rainwater Garden bump-out under construction this week - plantings to follow soon. Rainwater runoff enters this raingarden at the slot in the curb. Located in front of the Jardin del Rio community garden at the intersection of Crystal Street and Riverdale Avenue.

California Eco Design's rendering of what the bump-out rainwater garden will look like when planted.

Alternative rendering - also from California Eco Designs

Cutaway view of the underground chambers and devices that cleanse and infiltrate runoff water. Image from California Eco Design.

Another exciting photo of the green street under construction this week.

Thanks to Kai and California Eco Design for these renderings. And to the city of Los Angeles for making this project happen.

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§ 4 Responses to More Images of the Riverdale Green Street Project

  • MU says:

    That one small curb cut seems like it would quickly plug with debris or that the growth from the plantings would quickly prevent much water from flowing in. But I can’t tell where the bigger drain is so maybe not too much water is supposed to go through the curb cut by design.

    • Joe Linton says:

      I think that the bump-out inlet will work ok; if it plugs with some debris, then someone will need to maintain it.

      As you state, if there’s too great a volume of water flowing into the bump-out, it will just overflow and flow around.

      This is a pilot project, though (and this sort of stuff has been done in Santa Monica, Tucson, etc.) so the city will keep an eye on it and see how the designs work. If it doesn’t work well, then they’ve learned something!

  • MU says:

    Which raises a separate question about infiltrating river water. Why not just drill small holes through the bottom of the river channel where it is concrete to increase infiltration? I assume there would be some issues of undermining of the concrete bed or breakage due to water or plants, but seems like that would be manageable if designed properly. Seems like a quick, easy way to recharge groundwater without major construction or design work.

    • Joe Linton says:

      In this part of the river, there’s no concrete on the river bottom… but your suggestion makes a lot of sense for a lot of So. Cal. concreted waterways.

      The issue is that holes in the bottom of a creekbed will grow plants – which is a good thing generally – but not welcomed by the ‘Flood Control’ establishment. Vegetation creates more friction than smooth concrete, so that slows down the flow in those concrete channels, lessening their capacity to prevent flooding.

      The goal is to open up the floors of those concrete channels… but in the short run, it’s easier to begin to infiltrate water before it gets into creeks. This means healing the overall watershed… If we do thousands of green streets and other watershed projects, then the peak flows are reduced… then we can poke those holes in the concrete riverbeds.

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