Dear Echo Park Now

We received an email from one of our readers yesterday, asking the question on many local’s minds:

I live on Belmont ave. above the lake. How much is the upcoming rehabilitation expected to impact quality of life for nearby residents?

The answer is unfortunate but simple: It’s not going to be pleasant.

While the Prop O funded project is meant to clean up the ridiculous amount of pollution and debris, the next two years of the rehabilitation are going to be a little smelly, noisy, and not very enjoyable. Better enjoy it while it lasts, because in just three months things will get a little messy.

First, they’ll have to drain the lake in order to clear out around 50,000 feet of icky soil. But before they can haul that out, they’ll have to let the dirt dry out, and you can expect some pretty nasty smells (think rotten eggs) in the contaminated dirt. As the trucks roll in and out, there’s a strong fear that the contaminants (including ammonia, copper, and possibly some carcinogens) will disperse into the air, but there’s no solid proof of if and how it will affect nearby residents (besides the smell) as of yet.

If you’ve ever lived next door to a major construction zone, the noise from 2,500 trips to haul out the dirt, interruptions in street tracking, and an overall lengthy process over two full years will definitely be disruptive to residents. Let’s hope they’ll at least take a day or two off on the weekends to give everyone a break.

Nearby property for sale will also be affected – it might take a little longer to sell. But in the end, those properties will have a great view. And we’re all hoping the end result will be a cleaner, safer, and more enjoyable public space in Echo Park.

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