Groundbreaking commenced on August 6, 2015, along Laurel Canyon Boulevard, marking the start of a project to improve neighborhood sidewalks while addressing environmental concerns.
According to Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes, whose constituency includes Pacoima residents, “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. 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 Boulevard.” He and other officials participated in the groundbreaking ceremony with residents between Bella Terra Street and Kagel Canyon Street on the 9900 block of N. Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
The project addresses local safety concerns. Poor sidewalks and flooding were a frequent cause of concern for parents of students at Pacoima Middle School on one side of the street. Eleven residents voluntarily gave up portions of their front lawn to make the project possible. In return, they will receive new driveways, sidewalks, curbs, and gutters, which will improve safety and ease of access. The enhancements will also bring Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance to the neighborhood.
The Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street project provides an elegant solution to pollution, drought, and flooding concerns, all while improving the quality of life for residents in the Pacioma neighborhood of Los Angeles. By retaining dry-weather and wet-weather runoff, the improvements will reduce both pollution and flooding along Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The water retention will also allow the City to cut down on imported water usage.
CWE designs include infiltration swales along the street. They take the form of drought-friendly flora and natural filters, measuring approximately four-feet wide by five-feet deep. The permeable planters will span from the sidewalks to street curbs, aesthetically enhancing the neighborhood. Water will flow through these swales to dry wells, where it will be retained for further treatment and help replenish the San Fernando Groundwater Basin. The 125-acre drainage area is expected to yield 13 million gallons of water: enough to supply approximately 120 families every year.
The State Water Resources Control Board accounts for $2 million of Proposition 84 grant money allocated for the project. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power provided $800,000 worth of project funding, while LA Sanitation – City of Los Angeles accounted for the remaining $200,000. The Laurel Canyon Boulevard Green Street project has an anticipated completion date of February 2016.
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