Federal officials gave a major boost Wednesday to the city’s plans to turn the Los Angeles River into an urban oasis for recreation and an inviting locale for new commercial and residential development.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it has decided to recommend approval of an ambitious, $1-billion proposal to restore habitat, widen the river, create wetlands and provide access points and bike trails along an 11-mile stretch north of downtown through Elysian Park.
The city sees those 11 miles as the starting point for a project that will eventually revitalize all 51 miles of the river, from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.
The decision, made by Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, opens the way for Congress to give its approval and work to begin to transform the unsightly concrete corridor into something resembling the river’s natural state.
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