Boyle Heights’ Hollenbeck Park Lake preparing for a major makeover

Boyle Heights — In a park poor neighborhood, Hollenbeck Park serve as a much needed urban oasis. But the lake that occupies a big chunk of the park is suffering from many problems, from poor water quality (thanks in part to polluted runoff from the adjacent 5 Freeway) to soil erosion that has undermined the banks and sidewalks around the lake.  Now, city officials are looking at an ambitious project to fix the lake’s long list of problems.

The city’s Bureau of Engineering is currently sorting through public comments as it works on a draft environmental impact report due in August. That report for the Hollenbeck Park Lake Rehabilitation project will refine the concepts presented in an initial study and explore the impact on the neighborhood. In many ways the rehab will resemble work at Echo Park Lake, which was drained, cleaned up and reopened five years ago as part of a water-quality improvement project.

Some of the improvements being studied:

  • Replace drinking and potable water now used to refill the 4.3-acre lake and irrigate surrounding park with recycled water, storm runoff and water diverted from the L.A. River
  • Install an underwater pump to filter and disinfect the water used to refill the lake and irrigate the park
  • Add more floating wetlands and build a narrow band of wetlands along the shoreline to help filter and clean the water
  • Install a new liner on the lakebed to reduce seepage and algae
  • Abandon a sewer pipe that runs underneath the lake and build a new one that circles around the park

How much is this going to cost? When will it happen?

A 2016 report on the project estimated it would cost about $33 million. The Eastsider has contacted the Bureau of Public Works for an update.

The plan for now, pending review and approval of the final environmental reports, is to start the year-long construction project in September 2019. The lake would have to be drained, dirt and sediment trucked out and the portions of the park closed to the public during construction.

You can keep up with the project at the city’s Storm Water site.

Project site plan | Hollenbeck Park Lake Rehab Initial Study

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  1. thank you! looks good!

  2. Looks great! Just hope this doesn’t result in hipsters thinking they can come to Hollenbeck.

  3. Felipe Hernandez

    In before all these secret racists start crying about “hipsters” aka white people. Lol everyone hates change and wants runnin things to stay the same only to their satisfaction. People need to embrace change even if it’s coming from “hipsters” aka people purchasing property..

    • Hipsters ruining the area. Make it too nice and they’ll learn about the vibrant neighborhood and infiltrate. We need to keep it 100 and keep out the hipsters.

      • You want hipsters out? Then quit complaining about how under served your community is and how your barrio doesn’t get the resources it needs to be just as desirable as South Pasadena. When you start squawking to the city council and the sympathetic media about your blighted neighborhoods, they start to listen and will shell out boat loads of bucks and send in the public works just so they don’t look like they are neglecting the poorer hoods. Pretty soon you find that what used to be your private little ghetto paradise is transformed into a kicky urban oasis that every bike riding, culture loving, eco-worshiping recent L.A. transplant wants to enjoy and be part of. You can’t have it both ways – the first casualty of success is isolation. Good luck turning the tide kid.

      • Apennyadaymakessense

        Not down with Varrio Nuevo Hipster ese?

  4. Richard Risemberg

    It would be good to include a screen of mature trees along the freeway to help filter out pollutants from the traffic. This would benefit the whole neighborhood, not just the park.

    Who ever thought it would be right to build a freeway through a park anyway? (It was built int he 1890s, long before car traffic had taken over LA.)

  5. As a Boyle heights long time resident I love the change this community is seeing. We long time residents are just sick and tired of the same old gangs, graffiti, drugs and crime we have been living with for decades and decades. Time for change so our kids can have a better life. Clean the water, put in new bright lights, new trees, grass and flowers and make this a beautiful park for all people of los angeles no matter what race or color they are. We Mexicans always complain about nobody caring about us or our communities and when they do finally make a effort to make things better we complain.

  6. Why can’t they just replace the water with cement? Less chances of a child drowning. plus saves a lot more money because after the years the water will get ugly and smelly like it is right now!!

  7. this is actually a project that actually serves a purpose to our community. I had an uncle that was found dead in the park back in 86. This renovation can help drain the disgusting and dreadful water in the park.

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