La River restoration could cost city $1.2 billion

The city of Los Angeles has received a preliminary price tag for implementing Mayor Eric Garcetti’s vision of revitalizing the Los Angeles River -- $1.2 billion.

The increased price tag is due in part to rising riverfront real estate prices and a projected $200 million price tag for moving a nearby rail yard.

AP reports, “The restoration, envisioned for years, would rip out much of the concrete-lined bottom and banks where the river runs through neighborhoods. Wetlands would be reintroduced near downtown, river banks landscaped and tributaries re-established from existing storm drains.

The concrete and storm drains were introduced in the mid-20th century for flood-control purposes.

City officials previously hoped to spend about $500 million, with the federal government expected to match that amount. The project could take as long as 50 years to complete.

As the effort has been discussed frequently over the past two years, the price of real estate along a riverfront corridor near downtown has doubled. To offset that increase, developers have proposed four- and five-story residential complexes. That's led some project advocates to complain such development would detract from the scenic improvements they envision.”