When will that L.A. River flood control barrier come down?

sunnynook bridge blocked by barrier

Flood-control barrier blocks Sunnynook foot bridge

ATWATER VILLAGE —  The threat of heavy El Niño rains prompted the construction of a temporary barrier along the L.A. River to reduce the risk of flooding in the Atwater area.  The wrath of El Niño missed Southern California for the most part but the barrier remains, blocking access to the river and forcing cyclists and pedestrians to take detours at times. When will that barrier be removed?  A decision will be made soon, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The four-foot-high, sand-filled barrier, which was installed on both sides of the river, were built along the edge of the concrete river channel. In some cases, the barrier forced the closure of the adjacent walking and bike path as well as access to the Sunnynook foot bridge, aka Atwater Love Lock Bridge.

“The temporary protective barriers are anticipated to be removed soon after the end of the flood season, which is typically mid-April,” said corps spokesman Jay Field. “At that time, we’ll confirm the forecast before removal, which should be completed within two months.”

The barrier is part of more than $3 million in emergency measures that were undertaken to reduce the chance of flooding along the river from Griffith Park to Elysian Valley.

sunnynook bridge and cart

The Eastsider’s Daily email digest includes all new content published on The Eastsider during the last 24 hours. Expect the digest to land in your in email in box around 7 p.m. It’s free to sign up!

Once you submit your information, please check your email box to confirm your subscription.


  1. Rain statistics never justified this project. Just believers of their own hype. Now the barriers a becoming walls for the homeless.

  2. Leave them up until next year incase we get another dud el nada. I’d love to see the bill for removing these….

  3. How was this possibly done without a CEQA review?

    • I believe it is because the LA River is under jurisdiction of the Federal government/US Army Corps of Engineers via the 1928 Flood Control Act, So that trumps any state requirements.

  4. There is a reasonable argument to be made that we didn’t get the El Nino rains is because they put this barrier in place.

  5. Did the powers that be seriously believe that El Nino rains could raise the “river” that much to require these barriers? The “river” is so many yards far down below. I don’t get it. Money would have been better used elsewhere. Oh well, another waste of taxpayer dollars. What else is new.

    • I totally agree. If El Nino had brought the water level up to where the barriers were built, the whole of LA would have been under water. This was an insane waste of time and money from the beginning. The very definition of a boondoggle that made money for someone at tax payers’ expense.

  6. Thanks for the article and the reminder. Imagine if they closed off Burbank Blvd or Woodley Ave in the Sepulveda basin for 3-4 months “just to be on the safe side”. Now they put those bucks in these ridiculous barriers and you know that they are going to drag their feet long as they can before removing them. Walkers and bike riders get the shaft again.

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *