By Sam Temblador
After nearly a year of work, the $65 million clean up and reconstruction of Echo Park Lake is on schedule to be completed in May 2013, officials said Tuesday night during a community update. In addition to providing an update on construction, city officials also responded to concerns and complaints about blowing dust and respiratory problems as well as the future of the park’s wildlife once the lake is refilled and the project completed.
“The dirt’s so dry it’s going all over the place,” said Joyce Dillard, who added that it had been going on for weeks.
Project manager Kendrick Okuda replied that the contractor has “dust control measures in place,” which includes frequent watering of excavated dirt and muck to keep down the dust. Okuda also disputed the contention that the dust might be contaminated. “It’s not contaminated…it’s just dust,” he said.
As part of the project, 29 trash cans and 25 new benches will be installed during reconstruction of the area surrounding the lake, Katherine Clark, a civil engineering associate with the program. To help solve the issue of waste build-up and pollution once the lake is refilled , two hydrodynamic separators, which Okuda described as large, underground concrete cylinders, will be used to collect any waste that finds its way into the lake.
Okuda told members of the community they should look forward to the new and much more aesthetically appealing lotus bed, which will be ready for installation this fall. The project team also plans on having the island in the middle of the lake lined with rocks or riprap and installing night-time lighting for the lake’s fountain.
Samuel Temblador is a UCLA student from South L.A. interested in journalism and communications.
* Correction: A previous version of this story said the hydrodynamic separators would be above ground. That’s wrong. The separators will be located underground.