The Architect’s Newspaper writes that plans for freeway cap park are moving forward in Los Angeles County. The cap idea involves covering parts of a freeway with a “planted concrete lid.” The freeway cap parks are designed to reconnect neighborhoods cut off by freeways and create green community spaces through the city. Additionally, the cap parks will help reuse existing infrastructure and avoid the enormous costs involved in pulling down freeways. The parks would function as a sort of High Line, but instead of residing on top of abandoned rail road tracks, would be placed on working transportation systems.
According to The Architect’s Newspaper, there are four separate projects being considered across L.A.: one in Hollywood, one in downtown LA, and two in Santa Monica. “Hollywood Central Park would be built atop the 101 Freeway on a proposed 44-acre site between Santa Monica Boulevard and Bronson Avenue. Park 101 would be built atop the ‘Big Trench’ over the 101 Freeway downtown. Santa Monica is hoping to cap portions of the 10 Freeway between Ocean Avenue and 4th Street, and between 14th and 17th streets, creating five- and seven-acre parks.”
The four cap park plans differ depending on existing infrastructure. Francie Stefan, community and strategic planning manager for the City of Santa Monica, said: “Some are glorified bridges, some need center supports, and some just span the whole distance.”
Among the four cap park proposals, the Hollywood Freeway Central Park project is furthest along and has just completed initial feasibility studies, developed by AECOM. The Friends of Hollywood Central Park are now raising funds for detailed environmental impact assessment studies. Early estimates put the cost of the proposed Hollywood Central cap park in the range of one billion.
Vaughan Davies, director of urban design at AECOM’s LA offfice, sees the new park as central to smart growth plans for Los Angeles: “The proposed site separates some of our most prized and appealing landmarks—Olvera Street, Chinatown, and Union Station on one side; Disney Hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and City Hall on the other—creating isolated pockets of activity rather than what we need: a livable, walkable, and unified downtown district.”
L.A. Curbed writes that Santa Monica is also moving forward with one of the cap parks. The city council is voting on $3.5 million study and preliminary engineering on a proposed five-acre park.
Read the article and see AECOM’s design concepts.
Image credit: The Architect’s Newspaper / AECOM