GRIFITH PARK TRAILS UPDATE
The restoration work of replacing one old water pipeline in Griffith Park between the L.A. Zoo and Los Feliz Blvd is now finished. Currently, DWP is working on street restoration to be able to open it to normal traffic. As soon as the street is restored, DWP will follow with the restoration of the hiking and equestrian trail that has been closed to equestrians for nearly two years. Bikers will return to riding on the street, and the bridle trail will be open only for hikers and horses. The restoration plan, as agreed upon before the work was started, is to remove the pavement, and restore the trail surface with decomposed granite. Improvements to the existing trail includes installing woodcrete fencing between the street and the trail to run from the Ranger Station to the northern end of the golf course on Crystal Springs Drive.
Unfortunately trees were lost during the pipe construction, but new trees are to be planted along the trail. There is a plan to reestablish a formal tree canopy along the trail. DWP hopes to finish this section of the project in December 2011 or early January, 2012.
The next phase of pipe construction will begin possibly in early January, 2012, with digging the pipeline trenches on Zoo Drive. The process is open trench installation, digging deep trenches to house the pipes to be laid. All of this is to replace aging water pipelines for the City of Los Angeles.
The good news is that during the first phase some of this work will take place at night. Later, work may be done around the clock also, as necessary. Vehicle traffic along Zoo Drive will be impacted and flagmen are to be helping with those potential problems.
Work will begin east of the Victory Bridge and continue east past Pecan Grove. The hiking and equestrian trails will not be impacted directly, but there will be considerable noise and disruption along the street which may affect trail users.
The parking lot at Pecan Grove will remain accessible during construction. However, this work will not disturb the access through Patterson Tunnels and the trails that lead past the Condor cages along Skyline.
At Live Steamers, the trail known as Rattlesnake which accesses the park will remain open. Horses and hikers can come through the dirt parking lot across the street from the Live Steamers, cross the street as usual and continue on to favorite trails. The parking lot is next to the Griffith Park Service yard, currently filled with mountains of dirt, across the street from the Live Steamers. It will become a “laydown” area for DWP. DWP will use this area as a base to store materials, dirt, some pipe, machinery and to also house office trailers on site. The area will be enclosed with a fence about 40 feet west of the bridle trail crossing.
Warning signs will be posted for equestrians and hikers on affected trails.
DWP has been responsive to the idea that the office trailers will be parked closest to the dirt trail that leads from Tunnel 6 to Martinez. Since trailers are stationary and facing outward, they should not cause spooks to horses. Moving machinery and other activities will take place closer to Zoo Drive. Entrance to this laydown area will be on the western most point of the triangle shaped lot. Trucks, and other heavy machinery will drive in at the farthest point from the bridle trail.
This dirt parking lot across from Live Steamers has historically been the parking area for equestrians trailering in to ride in the Park. It will now be used by DWP as their laydown area for the next 2 ½ years. There will still be a small area in the laydown lot where trailers may park. However, as announced previously, horse trailer parking for out of town trailers will be in a designated area across from Martinez Arena.
To follow the construction progress the public can go to the DWP Webpage (link here) … Look at Unit 1B which will refer to this current construction work. There are different designations for various phases of this construction project. The Webpage of Unit 1B should be up for viewing by the end of November.
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Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Update on the park trails mess comes from Lynn Brown - National Trails Coordinator for ETI National: