LINCOLN HEIGHTS — After more than a decade of planning and a more expensive-than-expected cleanup, construction is scheduled to begin this week on Albion Riverside Park, a former industrial site that will be transformed into six acres of playing fields, green space and walkways next to the L.A. River.
The triangular shaped park will stretch from Spring Street on the north to nearly Main Street on the south, helping expand the existing Downey Recreation Center.
The project will not only provide more green and recreation space to the area, it will also help improve water quality. Runoff from storm drains will be collected, filtered and treated using a variety of techniques before the water flows into the L.A. River and eventually the ocean, according to a project summary.
But this new park does not come cheap. The site needed an extensive environmental cleanup after being used over the decades for everything from metal pipe storage to auto repair to a distribution and warehouse center for Ross Swiss Dairy. The L.A. Times reported that cleanup costs alone totaled $6.2 million — more than $2 million above budget — after officials discovered more contamination than expected. In some places, crews had to remove a layer of contaminated soil that was 18 feet deep in places.
The construction of the park, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, is expected to cost about $16.6 million, according to the Bureau of Engineering.
A ground breaking ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 6.
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