The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District has announced the projects in Southern California and Arizona affected by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Included in the act is nearly $6.5 million to ensure structural integrity, remove graffiti and manage vegetation along the Los Angeles River.
(April 28, 2009) Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. – Colonel Thomas H. Magness, IV, Los Angeles District Commander, U.S. Army Corps Engineers; Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34); and Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes prior to a Capitol Hill briefing about efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River.
The Act, referred to as the “stimulus package,” appropriates nearly $184 million for the district to continue studies, complete construction work and conduct operations and maintenance for two dozen projects throughout the region. The ARRA, which President Barack Obama signed into law on Feb. 17, is intended to help in the recovery of the U.S. economy.
“We are very pleased to receive Recovery Act funds to move forward on a number of critical projects and help our fellow citizens in the district,” said Col. Thomas H. Magness IV, commander of the Los Angeles District. “The funding will allow us to provide much-needed jobs in today's difficult economy.”
The stimulus money will be used to remove graffiti along channels and tributaries of the river, clear non-native vegetation in the soft bottom areas of the river in the Glendale Narrows area, replace and maintain channel fencing along Compton Creek and construct a log boom at Fullerton dam. It will also fund vegetation removal on Corps dams (using a unique bio-friendly method of goats and goat herders), sediment removal within flood control basins, and preventive maintenance and channel improvement within the Los Angeles County Drainage Area.
“The river is the major element of the system that reduces the risk of flood damage throughout the area,” Magness said. “It’s also a significant environmental asset, and we’re working closing with the city and the county to investigate ways to participate in its restoration."
Economists estimate the work will create about 52 jobs directly related to the work and an additional 90 jobs in industries supplying or supporting the construction, performing operations and maintenance activities, and selling goods and services to the workers and their families.
U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, is a longtime advocate on behalf of revitalizing the blighted areas along the LA River and had often secured federal funds for revitalization projects along the river.
"I am thrilled these federal funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being released quickly and directly to the Los Angeles District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create jobs and assist efforts to enhance current levels of flood protection throughout the county," said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who represents downtown Los Angeles, including significant parts of the LA River.
"I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and on the state and local levels to help our communities weather this economic downturn and to support initiatives to revitalize the areas along the Los Angeles River,” she said.
Los Angeles Councilmember Ed P. Reyes spearheaded the City’s Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan to transform a more than 30-mile stretch of the L.A. River into a greenbelt linking communities.
“We look forward to working with the Obama administration, the Army Corps and our local communities to achieve the goals of neighborhood renewal, environmental protection and economic reinvestment along the Los Angeles River,” said First District Councilmember Reyes, who chairs the City’s Los Angeles River Ad Hoc Committee.
Reyes, who had worked on the revitalization effort with Roybal-Allard and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said neighborhood revitalization in the city’s river communities will create jobs, improve water quality and provide open spaces and pedestrian and bike paths.
“The Corps is fully committed to ensuring the Recovery Act funds provided for Civil Works are used to achieve the purposes envisioned by the President and Congress for the legislation,” said Maj. Gen. Merdith “Bo” Temple, deputy commanding general for Civil and Emergency Operations for the Corps.
For additional information about the Corps’ nation-wide projects funded by the Recovery Act, visit http://www.usace.army.mil/recovery. For information on the ARRA, visit http://www.recovery.gov/