The Wilmington Waterfront Park, formerly known as the Harry Bridges Boulevard Buffer Project, was designed as an element of the Berths 136-147 (TraPac) Container Terminal Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) approved by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners in 2007 to provide public open space between Port operations and adjacent residences in Wilmington. The EIR called for the “widening of Harry Bridges Boulevard and constructing a new 30-acre buffer area between “C” Street and Harry Bridges Boulevard.” The park was constructed on adjacent, vacant Port-owned property.
After a series of public planning workshops that began in 2004, a plan to take a sustainable, strategic approach to the area was approved in 2007. The Port of Los Angeles with design consultant team Sasaki moved forward with the community-supported plan that offered never-seen-before views of the Wilmington waterfront. Construction began in 2009 and the Wilmington Waterfront Park officially opened to the public in June 2011.
The Park is a 30-acre largely contiguous landscaped area, between Harry Bridges Boulevard and C Street to the north, from Figueroa Street to Lagoon Avenue to the east. The El Paseo Promenade provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection from the east to the west end, continuing for approximately nine blocks.
Consistent with the EIR, Harry Bridges Boulevard is in the process of being widened and realigned in its original location. The roadway will remain a two-lane highway in each direction with a landscaped median strip. With the exception of King Avenue, which remains open to vehicular traffic, all of the north-south streets crossing the park have been closed, with Wilmington Boulevard and Mar Vista, McDonald, and Neptune Avenues remaining accessible to pedestrians.
The area’s topography now consists of a low landform (16 feet) along the northern edge of the project with gentle grades, landscaping with grass, trees, and other planted material, hardscaping, paths and walkways, benches, water features, pedestrian bridges, restrooms, drinking fountains, binoculars, a children’s playground, and two buildings. The park is open to the public and an ideal space for family gatherings, children’s play, performance arts, walking, bicycling, sitting, and community events.