The 2.2-mile breakwater, built by the U.S. Navy in the 1940s, will stay. File photo.


City Council voted Tuesday to advance an additional $50,000 of previously appropriated money towards the rescoped breakwater study, officially called the East San Pedro Bay Ecosystem Restoration Study. The condensed “3x3x3” plan–a new requirement by the Army Corps of Engineers, which holds jurisdiction over the offshore seawall–will put more relative financial burden on the City of Long Beach, but is cumulatively less expensive than the original feasibility study.

The lowered rescoping budget also allows for an independent project manager to be budgeted into the study. Costs for a project manager are estimated to be $350,000 to $425,000 for a part-time, three-year contract. This contract will go through a standard Request for Proposal process to ensure a competitive contract can be attained by the city.

Even though the $50,000 to re-scope the project was given in order to incentivize the Corps to move forward, the timeline for any conclusion work is still at least four years in the making. Rescoping paperwork and process will take 9-12 months and the actual feasibility study will take three years, pending approval by the Army Corps of Engineers and appropriation of $750,000 for their share of the costs. 

Even if the Corps approves the project, however, funds might not be contributed by the Army Corps due to budgetary problems in the nation’s capital as well. City management believes Long Beach has a strong case for the study, though, and with Long Beach taking on a greater proportion of the costs also make the selection of the feasibility study more easily attainable.

Whether or not the Army Corps will contribute funds to the feasibility study has no effect on the rescoping efforts, though.

This will be the first of many steps in the evaluation of Long Beach’s breakwater, but it is the closest the city has come to getting the information necessary to determine if action can be taken to remove all or a portion of the two and a half-mile long structure. 

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