The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday accepted $1.9 million in funding from the Port of Long Beach that will help pay for long-running efforts to develop the 51st Street Greenbelt and connect Drake and Chavez parks.
The projects will add more recreation and green space to Downtown and North Long Beach along the 710 Freeway, providing a buffer to air pollution and noise caused by Port of Long Beach operations, according to a staff report. Trees and landscaping spawned from the projects would block noise and absorb harmful particulate matter and greenhouse gases, city officials wrote.
The 51st Street Greenbelt is a .97-acre undeveloped open space adjacent to the DeForest Wetlands and the Los Angeles River Bike Path. The Drake Chavez Connection is a 5.81-acre former industrial and abandoned railroad property, which will connect Cesar Chavez Park in Downtown Long Beach and Drake Park in the Willmore City Historic District, according to officials.
The city plans to replace the Shoemaker Bridge, which divides Drake Park and Cesar Chavez park.
Officials estimate the cost for work to the Drake Chavez project is $14.5 million, and $3 million for the 51st Street Greenbelt Project. Both projects will be completed in phases as funding becomes available, officials said.
In the past, the Port of Long Beach has given millions for other green space projects, such as the Colorado Lagoon to Marine Stadium open water channel connection and the Red Shield Youth and Community Center in North Long Beach.