Mayor Garcetti Trying to Get $1B L.A. River Habitat Restortation Project Approved

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Supported by Democrat Barbara Boxer, California's junior senator, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is trying to prevail on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve a $1 billion plan to restore Los Angeles River habitat—more than twice the amount recommended by the Corps' staff, it was reported today.

On a recent trip to the nation's capital, Garcetti made sure to call on Jo-Ellen Darcy, who, as assistant Army secretary for civil works, is critical to L.A.'s efforts to win federal approval for an ambitious habitat restoration plan and provide recreational opportunities along an 11-mile stretch of the waterway north of downtown, the Los Angeles Times reported.

L.A city officials have asked the Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the river as a flood control channel, to approve a $1 billion renovation plan, but the corps' staff has recommended a $453-million alternative, which is why Garcetti and his most powerful congressional ally -- Boxer - are stepping up their efforts in Washington, the newspaper reported. They want to persuade Darcy, the Army Corps brass and the White House to back the costlier plan.

Garcetti discussed the project last fall with President Barack Obama and has taken administration officials on tours of the river.

"At the end of the day, I think we have a president who can help," Garcetti told The Times.

Boxer, head of the Senate committee overseeing corps projects, added that she is so strongly committed to the more ambitious alternative that she has no fallback position.

"My Plan B is to make sure Plan A happens," she told The Times.

Garcetti is offering to split the costs if the corps approves the more expansive project, according to The Times.

—City News Service


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