Los Angeles City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, 7th District, and officials of LA Sanitation (LASAN) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) broke ground today on the Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street Project in Pacoima.
A series of vegetated infiltration swales and subterranean stormwater capture systems, measuring four-feet-wide by five-feet-deep and varying in length, will be constructed along Laurel Canyon Boulevard between Terra Bella Street and Kagel Canyon Street between the street curb and pedestrian sidewalks. When it rains, stormwater runoff flowing from a 124-acre drainage area through the project site will be captured and infiltrated to replenish the San Fernando Groundwater Basin. The project will allow infiltration of up to 13 million gallons of water annually, enough to sustain 120 single-family homes in LA for a year.
This important green street and water supply infrastructure investment will help build local water supplies and protect LA’s waterways, while enhancing the Pacoima neighborhood. Additional project benefits include decreased local flooding during rain storms, improved water quality, new sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, and learning opportunities through partnerships to help educate the community about watershed issues.
“Flooding on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Pacoima, near Pacoima Middle School, has long been a fact of life for residents who live in the neighborhood,” said Councilmember Fuentes. “Now, a model, environmental project in the San Fernando Valley not only will help prevent flooding, but address safety concerns for pedestrians who walk along this portion of Laurel Canyon Blvd.”
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the 9900 block of N. Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Pacoima, in the front yard of the home of Ana Olvera, one of eleven residents collaborating with LASAN and LADWP on this project. Participating residents were asked to voluntarily dedicate a portion of land across the width of the front of their property, in exchange for a new sidewalk, driveway, and on-site property improvements.
LA Sanitation Director Enrique C. Zaldivar, P.E., said of the project, “This innovative partnership between City, State and community will have a lasting impact on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, one that ensures a cleaner, safer and more beautiful street. LASAN continually develops new and creative ways to promote public health, protect the environment and address the drought, and the Laurel Canyon Green Street Project is just one of many ways we are doing just that.”
Marty Adams, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager of the Water System said, “This Laurel Canyon project is a critical component to help meet Mayor Eric Garcetti’s mandate to reduce LA’s imported water in half by 2024 which is a priority for LADWP. And thanks to our important partnership with the residents of this street, Councilmember Fuentes, and LA Sanitation, we are able to get this green street project underway.”
Construction will begin in September and is expected to be completed by February of 2016. LASAN is implementing the project, and funding is provided through a $2 million grant awarded to LADWP, by the State Water Resources Control Board under the State Proposition 84 Stormwater Program. LADWP and LASAN are contributing an additional $800,000 and $200,000, respectively. The total project cost estimate is $3 million.