The California Plan to Build Concrete Canals

The California Plan to Build Concrete Canals

Letters to the Editor: Concrete channels won’t save L.A. in a mega-flood. What was paved over might just be paved over again

I was in the L.A. Times Saturday when the Los Angeles Times reported that “a proposed solution to traffic gridlock on Interstate 5 in Los Angeles County calls not for widening but for ‘concrete canals’ that would have been an easier solution to traffic problems than widening, an alternative to widening that has become the focus of the $10.5-billion L.A. River Water Conservation and Development Act of 2015.” The article concluded that:

The law was meant to address the growing traffic congestion along the 101 Freeway in L.A. and in the San Gabriel Valley, which is already suffering from the effects of climate change. L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said she supports the construction of a number of water-based pedestrian and bike paths, as well as a $3-billion transit hub in Pasadena that could improve transportation options for commuters.

But, as I pointed out in an earlier column, the plan to build concrete channels by placing a “siphon” of water from the Central Valley to the Pacific Ocean will create long-term problems for the basin. The Los Angeles Times article fails to mention that “at least some of the water diverted across the desert will have no place to go in the form of rain.”

If California is going to embark on this epic engineering feat, the state has to get its act together, especially in terms of long-term planning. The article fails to address the fact that the water will be sent eastward and may not even reach the ocean. Furthermore, it is a terrible solution to the traffic problems of the corridor. It creates a new “drain in California.”

The other idea suggested by the Times article — widening the freeway — does not give the state its due. The article fails to consider the fact that the same time we will be building a new freeway the state will

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