Long Beach Community Breaks Ground On Long-Anticipated Storm Drain Project

The mood this week was one of elation and relief as residents and local elected officials marked the arrival of a $22.6 million storm drain project in Long Beach. After years of planning and numerous public meetings, the flood relief that had been just a pipe dream for East Anaheim Business Corridor residents and business owners is finally materializing in the form of 12,190 linear feet of underground storm drain pipe.

This is a landmark project for the City of Long Beach and one of the Flood Control District’s largest storm drain projects in recent memory, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. Getting this project over numerous hurdles was a monumental task and a true testament to the hard work of the men and women of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in partnership with the City of Long Beach and the community.

During severe winter storms, city streets have acted as swollen tributaries carrying vast amounts of storm water into this busy southeast Long Beach neighborhood. The existing storm drain system could not keep up, and the resulting flood-like conditions engulfed cars and caused severe damage to local homes and businesses.

Today we celebrate the construction of an underground storm drain system that will accommodate a 50-year rain event and help alleviate flooding in the surrounding neighborhood, said City of Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. The Termino Avenue Storm Drain also will clean our oceanfront through the system’s filters and sponges to keep trash and pollutants such as grease and oil out of our City’s beaches and waterways.

Flooding in this neighborhood has gone on for far too long and caused far too much damage, Long Beach City Councilmember Gary DeLong said. Today is a safety milestone for residents and businesses in this community and a turning point for improved water quality for the City of Long Beach.

In addition to the mainline drain and six lateral drains servicing adjacent streets, the project includes water quality improvements that will protect Long Beach’s surface waters from harmful pollutants. These project elements include a low-flow diversion structure that will redirect flows away from coastal waters and into the septic sewer system for treatment and retractable screens to keep trash from entering catch basins.

Project construction will begin in mid-October near Marine Stadium and is slated for completion by November 2011. During construction, Appian Way, Nieto Avenue, Colorado Street, Park Avenue, 8th Street, Mayfield Street, and 11th Street, near the storm drain alignment, may be closed to through traffic. Sixth Street may be closed to through traffic during construction hours from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Local access will be permitted at all times.