Plans to drain Echo Park Lake remain fluid

Earlier this year officials with the city’s Bureau of Public Works said Echo Park Lake would not be drained until next spring as part of a $65 million clean up.  During a town hall meeting last month, however, city representatives said the plug would be pulled on Echo Park Lake on Aug. 10, estimating it would take 30 days to drain the lake’s 26 million gallons of water.  Now officials have backed off the Aug. 10 date, saying it might be a couple of weeks – or later this month – before the job of emptying the lake begins. “We don’t have an answer” right now, Bureau of Public Works spokeswoman Lauren Skinner told The Eastsider on Thursday. “They are currently strategizing.”   Skinner contractor – Ford E.C. –  overseeing the nearly two-year-long clean up and city officials need to go over various scenarios as to “what makes sense” about when to drain the lake. She notes the lake won’t be drained until turtles and other animals have been relocated.

In other Echo Park Lake clean up news:

  • No Parking: The city has declared the west side of Echo Park Avenue between Park Avenue and Laguna Avenue as a “no parking” zone from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to provide access and room for construction vehicles needed for the lake clean up. However, one nearby resident complains that  there have been “ZERO construction/demolition/landscaping trucks on the street at any time in or around 6:30, 7,even as late as 9 a.m.”  The resident asks if the signs could be changed or amended.  That’s not likely, said Skinner. Construction activity is expected to pick up in the next few weeks, and the parking restrictions will remain in place until the project is completed.
  • Sand Bags: In addition to the installation of an approximately mile-long fence around Echo Park Lake, the only noticeable construction activity at the park has been the stacking of sandbags along the water’s edge.  What is that about? Skinner said the sandbags are required during any city construction project to prevent materials from falling into the storm drain system. “You don’t want any of that sediment getting into the storm drain,” she said.  Water drained from the lake will be released and treated through the city’s sewer system.


  1. way to block off the park, screw up the neighborhood parking for the past few weeks, all the while getting NOTHING done yet. this bodes well for timetables over the next couple of years. sorry, i still think this is the worst waste of $64M for our neighborhood…

    how about if the city eases up on the street cleaning restrictions while this is going on???? street cleaning is useless anyway, it’s not as though it picks up the trash. driving over it & blowing dust around does nothing.

  2. Prefer to see situation as lake half-full. Don’t believe it will be a tunnel-under-Boston sit., one of the larger urban fiascoes of recent memory.

    I hope for a nice, clean, upgraded lake in a couple of years. Could be delays and cost overruns, unforeseen problems, parking and dust issues, but as I’ve said here before it has to be done. Glad it’s underway. Lake’s half-full imho.

  3. I live on Echo Park Avenue, right by the lake and haven’t seen or heard any construction vehicles there at 6 AM or even by 8:30 AM when I leave for work. The parking is not an issue for me personally as I take the bus to/from work, but I can see how it would be annoying for others who live and park on Echo Park Avenue.

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