COMMUNITY CELEBRATION MARKS OPENING OF 30-ACRE WILMINGTON WATERFRONT PARK AT PORT OF LOS ANGELES
Mayor Villaraigosa Opens Park with Ribbon Cutting, Leads First Official Walk across Iconic Pedestrian Bridge
SAN PEDRO, Calif. — June 4, 2011 — Thousands of community residents joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to celebrate the opening of Wilmington Waterfront Park at the Port of Los Angeles, a 30-acre park that spans approximately nine blocks and nearly doubles the amount of public open space in Wilmington. Wilmington Waterfront Park is located between Harry Bridges Boulevard and C Street to the north, from Figueroa Street to Lagoon Avenue to the east.
“With the opening of this magnificent park, the people of Wilmington now have exactly what they’ve wanted and deserve – 30 acres of green space,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This is an incredible park for family gatherings, children’s play, walking, bicycling and community events. I’m proud of the efforts of the community, the Port and the City of Los Angeles to deliver such a special place that will be used for generations to come.”
“It’s gratifying to see such a remarkable transformation of land use resulting in what will be a beautiful community asset,” said Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski. “The landscaping, public plazas, play areas for children and open space are sure to make this a unique and popular gathering place.”
“Port staff and Wilmington residents have worked side by side for years on this project under the leadership of Port Community Advisory Committee (PCAC) President Ken Melendez,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “It’s been a long time coming and we are thrilled to see it come to fruition. The LA Waterfront is really starting to come together and this is one of the crown jewels.”
Beginning with a 10 a.m. walk along the park path and across the iconic pedestrian bridge, followed by a dedication ceremony and official ribbon-cutting, the day-long public event also included a soccer clinic by members of the Chivas USA Soccer team, traditional Mexican mariachi and folkórico performers, along with food and refreshments.
The park is a 30-acre landscaped area with gentle slopes, lawns (grass and artificial), trees, bike paths, walkways, benches, water features, pedestrian bridges, restrooms, elevated observation points, a children’s playground, barbeques and a picnic grove. Public art elements will be installed later this summer.
Among the highlights of Wilmington Waterfront Park:
- El Paseo Promenade and Datum Walk – The Promenade runs along the northern edge of the park and provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection from the east to the west end. Datum Walk runs throughout the grassy area of the park.
- Iconic Bridge at King Avenue – The first of its kind in Los Angeles, the red, cable-stayed bridge has two columns and cables supporting the bridge deck that measures 105 feet tall and extends 157 feet long.
- Main Plaza and East, West Pavilions – The Main Plaza provides for a large stage for performances and spectator seating for thousands across the entire “Great Lawn.” Additionally, there are two other smaller public gathering and performance plazas on each side of the park.
- Splash Fountain – A high-energy family gathering space, the liquid plaza is comprised of 40 water jets that are synchronized into an interactive waterscape.
Formerly called the Harry Bridges Buffer project, the park was designed by Port consultant team Sasaki Associates, Inc. to serve as a “buffer” between Port operations and adjacent residences. The park was constructed on adjacent, vacant Port-owned property. The park’s 16-foot high landform along the south border serves as a noise barrier and offers elevated views of the water from the new El Paseo Promenade.
After a series of public planning workshops that began in 2004, a plan taking a sustainable, strategic approach to the area was approved in 2007. Construction began in 2009, at a total cost of $55 million.
Regular hours of operation for the Wilmington Waterfront Park are from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., daily. Parking and restroom facilities will be closed after hours and the entire area will be patrolled by the Los Angeles Port Police.
Click the links below for more park information:
The next beautification project in Wilmington, slated to begin later this year, is the construction of Avalon Triangle Park, located south of Harry Bridges Boulevard, between Broad Avenue and Avalon Boulevard. For more information about the Wilmington Waterfront and other Los Angeles Waterfront projects, visit www.lawaterfront.org or www.portoflosangeles.org
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.
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