Echo Park Lake will be closed this summer for the beginning of a $64 million clean up but a key element of the project – the draining and dredging of the lake – has been postponed until spring 2012. The draining of the 13-acre lake followed by the excavation of 50,000 cubic feet of soil from the lake bottom was scheduled to have begun this July after the Lotus Festival. But officials with the city’s Public Works department determined that the construction schedule would have left the project vulnerable to delays caused by the winter rains, said spokeswoman Olga Morales. The lake bed needs to be dry in order for workers to spread lime to help control odors from the exposed dirt and muck, she said.”We need it to be completely dry,” Morales said.
While the draining and dredging of the Echo Park Lake will be delayed, the park surrounding the lake will still be fenced off and closed to the public after the Lotus Festival so work can begin on other parts of the clean-up project. That work might include constructing new walking paths, creating staging areas and “anything they can do ahead of time so they don’t fall behind schedule,” Morales said.
A contractor has yet to be selected but Morales said the clean up is scheduled to be completed by May 2013.