Posted on 12/06/2019

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced $3.55 million in State grants to help improve pedestrian, cyclist, and equestrian access to the L.A. River and support its wildlife habitat.

“The L.A. River is central to our city’s history — and our investments now will ensure that it’s a natural treasure far in the future,” said Mayor Garcetti. “These grants will allow us to restore river habitat, give Angelenos better access to the outdoors, add new places to walk and bike, and advance our vision of sustainability in the heart of our city.”

Mayor Garcetti led a group of local and state partners to compete for — and win — two separate grants to strengthen our river.

The first award secures $2.2 million from the California Natural Resources Agency to the Bureau of Engineering for a 2.2-mile, multi-use path along the North Atwater East Bank Riverway, between Los Feliz Boulevard and the 134 Freeway. When complete, this project will be part of a six-mile loop linking pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians with jobs, local parks, and transit stops — all connected to the North Atwater Multi-Modal Bridge, the future bridges over the Verdugo Wash, and the banks of the river between the Glendale RiverWalk and Ferraro Fields.

The second grant will bring $1.35 million from the California Wildlife Conservation Board to the Council for Watershed Health to support wildlife habitat within 4.5 miles of the river and fund a new proposal for infrastructure improvements that will help increase fish populations and foster a more diverse, robust ecosystem in the channel.

Mayor Garcetti has led the City’s efforts to revitalize the L.A. River by transforming it from a concrete flood channel into a natural space — creating more parks, bike paths, and open space for recreational use. To advance this work, Mayor Garcetti has spurred the development and construction of several future bridges that connect communities to the river, including the Sixth Street Viaduct replacement, the North Atwater Multimodal Bridge, and the Red Car Pedestrian Bridge.

Support from local, state, and federal partners:

“The Los Angeles River is our gem, one with tremendous potential to bring a wonderful resource and vibrancy to our communities,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “These grants help us move forward on our continued quest to build a more accessible, equitable, and sustainable future for our residents in the city of Los Angeles.”

“Our River Revitalization Master Plan gave us a grand vision for our L.A. River, and these funds will help us turn it into reality,” said Councilmember David Ryu. “The Los Angeles River holds the story of our city's beginning, and it’s on us to make the next chapter a brighter one. For years, we’ve been working with community leaders, environmental groups, and residents to restore our river, expand public access, and improve its ecological function. This new path brings us closer to a continuous bike path along the L.A. River, as well as provides new connections to countless Angelenos.”

“This is another step towards creating greater connectivity along the Los Angeles River and restoring the wildlife habitat at the city’s urban core,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “I introduced a motion in Council earlier this year to start the process to apply for this grant funding, and I appreciate the river stewardship of the Bureau of Engineering for its work on several projects that will better serve the area. I look forward to the continued partnership with our local stakeholders as we collaborate to improve this existing service road into a greenway along the East Bank. What a great day for the Los Angeles River!”

“These grants are a major step forward in realizing the Los Angeles River Revitalization Plan,”  said Councilmember José Huizar. “The award by the California Natural Resources Agency recognizes that the development of alternative transportation is key to a sustainable Los Angeles. Multi-use paths along the North Atwater East Bank Riverway and the East Bank of the L.A. River will allow residents to safely connect to jobs, as well as provide for a wide range of recreational possibilities, and protect the open space and natural resources bordering the waterway. I’m excited to work toward the completion of these projects.”

“I applaud the continued financial support of the Los Angeles River by the California Wildlife Conservation Board,” said Senator María Elena Durazo. “This partnership between the Council for Watershed Health and the City of Los Angeles is an exciting endeavor that I hope will protect habitat, fish, and wildlife as well as provide valuable opportunities for local job creation.”

“I am very pleased that this grant to transform over two miles of dilapidated asphalt into a clearly marked pathway along the L.A. River became a reality,” said Senator Anthony Portantino. “This project will help accessibility for disadvantaged communities and will allow people to safely and sustainably connect to jobs, parks, transit, and resources and I am happy to have supported these efforts. I want to thank the Mayor, his team, and everyone who helped to make this grant possible and who will implement its purpose.”

“I am thrilled that LARiverWorks and the California Natural Resources Agency have come together on this vital project,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman, Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee. “I’d like to congratulate the City of Los Angeles on securing funds for a project that represents another major step forward in transforming our region into one that is truly interconnected.”

“The Los Angeles River has the potential to be the most important natural resource to millions of Angelenos,” said Assemblymember Miguel Santiago. “I applaud everyone’s efforts to secure these grants, which will improve access along the river and help support fish habitat. My constituents in Downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, and other surrounding neighborhoods are in great need of more green space and recreational areas. As a result of these efforts, we are now one step closer towards achieving the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan and helping our communities connect with nature.”

“The Los Angeles River is a major artery through the heart of our city that connects some of the most historic neighborhoods of Los Angeles, including portions of my Assembly district,” said Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo. “This $1.35 million grant will enhance further river access to all Angelenos while allowing the wildlife corridor and native vegetation to thrive.”