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Safe Clean Water Program: Focus on LA’s Oro Vista Avenue Project
Safe Clean Water Program: Focus on LA’s Oro Vista Avenue Project Image

Think back to a time when you walked down a tree-lined street. What do you remember? Did you hear birds chirping? Was the temperature cooler? Did you notice the breeze blowing through the branches of the trees? Did you find yourself wishing that Los Angeles had more tree-lined streets?

 

From more shade to more songbirds, we’ve all experienced the difference trees can make in creating greener streets and greener corridors. Trees are also environmental rock stars when it comes to retaining and infiltrating one of our region’s most precious resources – rainwater. And when trees are planted and integrated with nature-based infrastructure that captures and infiltrates even more stormwater runoff, this combination creates corridors of green infrastructure that can help LA create a sustainable future.

 

In fact the term Green Infrastructure Corridors is a relatively new concept gaining momentum in stormwater management circles and being proposed in many new Safe Clean Water Program-funded projects here in LA. The methodology found in Green Infrastructure Corridors goes far beyond the idea of simply planting more trees and foliage to create a green street. It expands the idea with nature-based solutions that capture, treat and infiltrate rainwater at its source, transforming a traditional public right-of-way into a greener street and a stormwater smart neighborhood. 

 

One project that will take many of these nature-based solutions and put them into practice is the Oro Vista Avenue Local Area Urban Flow Management Project (or the Oro Vista Avenue Project) located in LA’s San Fernando Valley in the Upper Los Angeles River watershed.

 

The Oro Vista Avenue Project has the distinction of being one of the first projects approved for funding by LA County’s Safe Clean Water Regional Program in late 2020. This $10.5 million project is an excellent example of transforming a traditionally designed street into a green infrastructure corridor to simultaneously improve water quality, increase water supply, reduce area flooding and create community enhancements.

 

The Oro Vista Avenue Project will use a combination of stormwater best management practices (or BMPs) and infrastructure to achieve these goals. The proposed BMPs include the construction of a new storm drain system to address flooding issues, underground dry wells to capture, infiltrate and treat stormwater runoff, street trees to reduce the heat island effect and improve air quality, and sidewalk parkway planters and permeable pavement to infiltrate rainwater and reduce peak flow during strong rain events. Working together, this new green infrastructure creates an impressive list of water quality, water supply and community benefits, which will include:

 

  • Remove 100% of trash and 89.5% of Zinc from stormwater runoff from 226-acre area of land
  • Capture and infiltrate more than 7,000,000 gallons of stormwater annually in a normal wet season
  • Plant more than 35 street trees with curb inlets
  • Install approximately 4,300 square feet of infiltration planters and native plants
  • Build approximately 1,300 feet of new storm drain pipes and 13 new catch basins
  • Construct approximately 12,000 square feet of permeable sidewalk

 

LA Sanitation and Environment anticipates design work for the Oro Vista Avenue Project to begin in August, 2021 and construction to start in March, 2023. The project is projected to be complete by 2025  .

 

If you should have any questions about the Oro Vista Avenue Project or would like to be included on the list of project stakeholders who will receive periodic updates, please contact us at san.safecleanwater@lacity.org and place “Oro Vista Avenue Project” in the subject line.

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