L.A. River restoration depends on railyard

August 27, 2014

The city of Los Angeles, California hopes to restore and revitalize the portion of the Los Angeles River that runs through the city. However, in order to do so, city officials will have to finalize the purchase of an adjacent former railyard site known as Taylor Yard that has contributed to contamination over the years.

According to a report by Streets Blog L.A., the federal government is planning a $1 billion restoration project of the 11-mile area. Los Angeles cannot access that money until it actually purchases the land near the river.

At 250 acres, Taylor Yard extends about three miles along the Los Angeles River and is located only a few miles from the city's downtown area. It was once a maintenance yard for trains, but has remained more or less vacant since the 1990s, when final rail services ended. Still, the result of decades of railway operation is serious contamination that threatens the river and local wildlife.

"This parcel is a crown jewel in our plans to restore the Los Angeles River, and I'm proud to have made acquisition of it a top priority for the city," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "This site represents a large amount of open space that will help us free the river from its concrete straight jacket and connect local communities to its natural beauty."

Eventually, the city hopes to remediate the property so that it can be used as conservation land. To do so, it might be helpful for stakeholders to work with environmental consultants to ensure that the process goes smoothly.