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Bits of Burbank floated in new L.A. river plan

June 14, 2006|By Chris Wiebe

CITY HALL ? Several areas in Burbank are included in a city of Los Angeles plan to revitalize a 32-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Works is in the midst of an 18-month planning process for a project aimed at creating open spaces, revitalizing the community and enhancing the environment along the river, Ara Kasparian, an engineer with Los Angeles Public Works, told the council. An ad hoc Los Angeles City Council committee established goals in order to build upon previous revitalization efforts , he said.

In Burbank, the plan targets portions of the river near Griffith Park and the western Burbank Channel and dry open spaces ?called spreading grounds ? near John Ferraro soccer field at the Ventura (134) Freeway-Golden State (5) Freeway interchange, Kasparian said.

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Revitalization efforts would take many forms, including slowing the flow of the river to allow plants and other vegetation to grow and beautify the environment. Swift-moving water inflows could counteract any greening efforts that the plan put into place, Kasparian said.

Los Angeles engineers are also consulting with the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and Burbank-based Warner Bros. about constructing bridges that could extend from those properties across the river, , Kasparian said.

Key components of the plan would also enhance bikeways and multi-use trails near the river, said Marisa Garcia, an analyst with Burbank's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.

Councilman David Gordon asked Kasparian if any aspects of the revitalization plan address the possibility of a sewer alignment running along the river. One of the alternatives for a proposed Glendale-Burbank Interceptor Sewer alignment stretches beside the Los Angeles River.

Since the sewer line is not an existing structure, the revitalization plan does not take the alignment into consideration, Kasparian responded.

The city of Los Angeles will continue to collect data and put forth design options for revitalization projects, producing several alternatives. After an environmental review is conducted, a final action plan is expected to be in place by January.

QUESTION

What do you think of parts of Burbank being included in a revamp of a stretch of the Los Angeles River? E-mail your responses to burbankleader @latimes.com; mail them to the Burbank Leader, 111 W. Wilson Ave., Glendale, CA 91203. Please spell your name and include your address and phone number for verification purposes only.

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