A major boost for ambitious plan to green L.A. River

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The Army Corps initially declined to back the restoration plan favored by L.A. City officials, opting instead for a less ambitious alternative that would have cost about 450-million dollars. But Mayor Eric Garcetti and other city officials have made several trips to Washington in recent months to push for a more comprehensive restoration.

larive3The head of the Corps – Jo-Ellen Darcy – is now on the same page with city officials, and will recommend that Congress approve the more comprehensive plan. Under the terms of the proposal, the city and state would split the $1 billion cost with the federal government, according to the L.A. Times.The money would be used to fix an 11-mile stretch of the river through the Elysian Park area. More than 700 acres of habitat would be restored and crews would remove three miles of concrete from the river bottom. The river would be widened to provide terracing along its Eastern bank. The plan also calls for connecting the river to Los Angeles State Historic Park near Chinatown.

lariver4L.A. officials see the project as the first step in restoring all 51 miles of the river between the northern San Fernando Valley and Long Beach.

If Congress signs off on the new plan, the money could start flowing next year.