LOS ANGELES COUNTY DRAINAGE AREA (LACDA) PROJECT
The LACDA Project is a multi-use project involving the design and construction of 21 miles
of levee improvements, modifications to 24 bridge crossings, and bike trail, equestrian trail,
and landscaping improvements. The LACDA Project alleviated severe overflow
potential by increasing the flood carrying capacity of the lower Los Angeles River, Rio Hondo,
and lower portion of Compton Creek, and at the same time provided residents with
improved recreational opportunities and aesthetics.
The project was authorized for $327 million by Congress in 1990 and originally estimated to
cost $364 million (including projected inflation costs) at the time of the Corps' Revised
Feasibility Study Report in June 1992. The current project cost is estimated at $220 million
with the expected Federal government funding about 3/4 of the cost and the local sponsor
(Los Angeles County) contributing the balance.
Federal Funding was very limited at the beginning of the project. However, once the
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) imposed mandatory flood insurance in July 1998
upon the highly urbanized, 82-square-mile overflow area, the Federal funding level was
raised to $50 million in FFY 1999 and 2000. This level of Federal funding put
the project on schedule to be completed by the end of year 2001, five years ahead of schedule.
The project prevents an estimated $2.3 billion in flood damages resulting from a 100-year
overflow event affecting 14 communities and over 500,000 people living within the 100-year
floodplain. In addition, property owners with Federally-backed loans, living within the
overflow floodplain, are no longer required to purchase flood insurance.
Extensive State owned facilities, primarily under the jurisdiction of CALTRANS,
are located in the overflow area.
The trail along this project is the Los Angeles River/Rio Hondo (LARIO)
Trail System. The LARIO trail is 28 miles long, starting north of Whittier Narrows
Dam and extending southerly to the Pacific Ocean. The trail was constructed in 1979
and is maintained by County of LA Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works.
The trail provides connection to eight parks adjacent to the LA River and Rio Hondo.
Twenty-two miles of this trail were improved in the LACDA Project.