LOS ANGELES–The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District awarded a $440,000 contract to BJD Services of Santa Clarita, California, for strategic in-channel vegetation removal in the Los Angeles River to restore conveyance capacity in the highest priority area upstream of the Riverside Drive/Victory Boulevard bridge to an area downstream of Interstate 5 in Glendale.
The Corps conducted a review of existing conditions of the flood risk management systems it oversees. In total, 11 dams, one debris basin and more than 50 miles of channel within the Southern California region were evaluated for this storm season.
The review resulted in interim risk reduction measures to establish a consistent flow rate, or conveyance capacity, along Corps operated and maintained reaches of the Los Angeles River. The Corps has identified measures for channelized areas along the Los Angeles River from approximately Griffith Park to Elysian Valley, including the Glendale Narrows area, which pose the greatest risk of flooding to adjacent communities during large storm events. A combination of factors, including design capacity and the presence of vegetation growth and sediment accumulation, contributes to reduced water flow in these areas.
“A team of experts in several different disciplines determined that there is an immediate need to remove native and non-native vegetation and debris to relieve the constriction in this area and to reduce the risk of potential outbreak,” said Lillian Dampios, chief of Operations. “Limited federal resources for routine maintenance has resulted in overgrowth of vegetation and sediment accumulation that increases the risk of localized flooding.”
Work is anticipated to begin the week of Jan. 18 and be completed in mid-February.
Implementation of additional measures rely on funds available to conduct the work, but severe weather conditions throughout the country have damaged other Corps structures and facilities, requiring Corps funds to be used elsewhere for repair efforts. The Corps is evaluating potential funding sources.
In addition to the maintenance measures, the Corps has implemented monitoring and notification systems that will be in place throughout the storm season and is prepared to undertake flood fighting activities should the need arise.
For more information on Corps activities related to El Nino, please visit http://www.spl.usace.army.mil/Missions/EmergencyManagement/ElNino.aspx.