Temporary barrier to keep L.A. River from overflowing in Atwater Village area

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ATWATER VILLAGE — Temporary barriers designed to raise the height of the L.A. River channel and keep water from overflowing during El Niño storms will be installed along a three-mile stretch of the river that flows past Atwater Village, Griffith Park  and Silver Lake, city and federal officials announced today. The four-foot-high barriers will be part of more than $3 million in emergency measures that will be undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on an area of the river from Griffith Park to Elysian Valley.   The called HESCO barriers, which are large, wire mesh and fabric containers that can be filled with sand, gravel or dirt, will temporarily increase the capacity of the L.A. River channel during heavy rains. The Army Corps “determined this area needed increased capacity to keep the river in its banks,”  according to a statement issued by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Army Corps.

The installation of barriers, which may require the closure of the L.A. River bike and pedestrian path, will take several weeks to be completed and will remain in place through the spring, according to officials. In addition,  vegetation on the riverbed near Riverside Drive and the Zoo Bridge will be removed to help improve the water flow.

“The unpredictable rainy season in the Los Angeles area requires us to take special preventive measures for those who live in neighborhoods along the L.A. River,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, whose 13th District included Atwater Village and Elysian Valley.

In an email newsletter, O’Farrell  said  that some sections of the LA River pathway will be closed “on an as needed basis through mid-April ” but should reopen before the river is reopened for recreational uses in in May.

The emergency funding announced today”should provide the interim flood risk reduction needed,” said Army Corps district commander Col. Kirk Gibbs in a statement. “Residents will start seeing an increase in activity in and around the channels starting the week of January 11th.”

The Army Corps, however, have not received an additional $4.5 million from the federal government to perform other flood control work on the L.A. River, according to the L.A. Times.

Learn more at the theeastsiderla.com