Los Angeles Aims to Revitalize a Concrete River

Officials are moving ahead with a major revitalization of the Los Angeles River – removing miles of concrete along its banks and re-greening areas now covered with pavement. This series of photos and renderings show before-and-after views of what the city hopes will be a $1.3 billion restoration project. 

Slide the bar from left to right to view the proposed transformations. (All photos courtesy of The City of Los Angeles.) 


Piggyback Yard 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Los Angeles officials hope to transform the 125-acre Piggyback Yard, the city’s last active railyard, into a massive green space in the heart of downtown, L.A.’s version of New York’s Central Park.


Taylor Yard 

Los Angeles is proposing reverting a 42-acre Union Pacific Railroad property called Taylor Yard back into a network of meandering marshland, riffles, and pools. The city is currently negotiating to buy the land, though one Army Corps biologist warns that after serving as a rail yard for decades, the site will likely need hazardous waste cleanup first.


Arroyo Secco Confluence 

The Arroyo Seco project would require removing one-half mile of concrete riverbed and banks and establishing a riparian wetland and marsh to provide public green space and flood protection. It would also connect the main channel of the L.A. river with the Los Angeles State Historic Park.


Verdugo Wash Confluence 

This project would involve restoring wetlands at the junction of the Los Angeles River and the Verdugo Wash stream. 


The Bowtie 

In an area of the river known as the “Bowtie,” developers propose widening and re-sloping the waterway to restore freshwater marsh habitat, as well as removing concrete along the riverbed and banks. The measures would help restore some of the river’s natural floodplain. 


Los Feliz Golf Course 

Landscapers will create a marshland corridor to connect the Los Feliz Golf Course to the river to allow for seasonal flooding within the golf course’s grounds.

Click here to read the e360 feature article on the restoration of the Los Angeles River.