December 19, 2010: The L.A. Gateway Authority recently kicked off a major environmental project which will improve water quality in the L.A. River Watershed, financed by $10 million in federal stimulus funds.
In support of this, the largest debris-catching project in the nation, Willdan Engineering performed a field review of each catch basin in the project, developed a database and developed project specifications. Willdan also managed the bid process and is now performing inspections to assure compliance with specs.
An article in the Los Angeles Times on September 19, 2010, explained: "Over the next year, 16 cities in southeastern Los Angeles County are installing screens beneath nearly every storm drain that flows into the lower Los Angeles River.
"Once the custom-built stainless steel devices are installed inside nearly 12,000 catch basins, authorities expect them to keep 840,000 pounds of debris — the equivalent of about 450 Volkswagen Beetles — from reaching the ocean each year. The garbage that washes off city streets and highways has long been identified as a major source of pollution that can degrade coastal habitat and float thousands of miles away on ocean currents."
Photo at left: At project kick-off in August (L-R): Bill Pagett, Willdan; Annette Hubbell, L.A. Gateway Authority CEO; Chris Cash, City of Paramount.