Long Beach Public Works has big plans spelled out for the next five years as the city prepares to spruce up the city in advance of the 2028 Olympics.

Plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars improving city streets, parks and waterways were made public in two separate five-year plans. One was adopted as part of last year’s budget and the second named “Elevate 28” was adopted this week as part of the 2024 fiscal budget.

The plans include designing a potential conversion of the Terminal Island Freeway in West Long Beach into a greenbelt that would help buffer residents from port pollution, and over $100 million in residential street repairs.

In total, the two plans include spending about $736 million in federal grants, the city’s share of state and county taxes and the city’s own local taxes like Measure A.

The department said the timeline for each project is subject to change as factors like weather could push back anticipated start dates or completion date.

Here are some of the projects that are expected to be in construction or break ground in the next year:

Major street improvements 

While neighborhoods across the city will see their streets slurry sealed or rebuilt over the next few years, some of the larger projects the Public Works department will take on this year involve large corridors that see far more vehicle traffic.

Major work has already begun on large east-west corridors in North Long Beach on Market Street and Artesia Boulevard, which are expected to continue work into next year. But two other large corridors could be under construction soon.

The long-planned rebuild of Studebaker Road could be under construction by the spring of 2024. The project will rebuild the East Long Beach corridor from Second Street all the way up to Carson Street, adding protected bike lanes, resurfacing the road, installing medians to help slow traffic and reconfiguring the intersection of Studebaker and Los Coyotes Diagonal to improve safety for all users of the road.

Cars drive along a road that needs a lot of work.
Drivers speed along Studebaker Road at Seventh Street in East Long Beach Tuesday, June 6, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Anaheim Street corridor, which is set for a number of pedestrian safety improvements, like center medians and pedestrian refuge islands, could also be under construction by the spring, according to a list of projects provided by the city.

Smaller streets in need of some love are also scheduled for improvements.

Clark Avenue, which has been riddled with patches and potholes for years, could finally get fixed next year. The department is projecting a spring or summer start date for the construction but it would be broken up into two portions with the segment between Monlaco Avenue and Spring Street being one and the second section running from Spring Street to Anaheim Street.

The realignment of Shoreline Drive, which will reshape how people enter and exit Downtown Long Beach from the 710 Freeway, could be sent out to bid next year. That project would expand park space in Downton by eliminating the northbound lanes of Shoreline Drive and shifting that traffic to where the southbound lanes are.

Long Beach received a $30 million federal grant earlier this year to help fund the initial phases of the project, which is expected to include a rebuild of the Shoemaker Bridge, something the city is seeking $650 million to complete.

Parks and Libraries 

A number of improvements to city parks and library facilities could also break ground in the coming year.

One park that is already in the pre-construction phase is Davenport Park, which the city is working to more than double the amount of space at by adding a new sports field, walking trails and other amenities.

Scherer Park in North Long Beach could see its planned improvements break ground as soon as this month, according to the departments projected schedule. The five-year plan called for $1 million to be spent on its playground and community center.

El Dorado Park could see its library roof repairs start in the spring of 2024 while phase 2 of the work being done on the restrooms next to its sports field could begin as soon as this fall, according to the schedule.

Two Central Long Beach parks could also have scheduled work start in the coming months.

This is the final rendering for the renovation of the Bay Shore Neighborhood Library. Photo courtesy of the city of Long Beach

The $1 million project to improve the swimming pool at Martin Luther King Jr. Park could start by the end of this year, and work at MacArthur Park, which the city received an $8.5 million grant to help complete, could also start in 2024 if the project is successfully bid later this year.

The $1.4 million overhaul of the Bay Shore Library in Belmont Shore is expected to stretch into next year. The branch closed in August for “at least eight months” as the city works to fix its interior and exterior.

Three other libraries (Mark Twain, Burnett and Los Altos) are projected to have their air conditioning systems upgraded in the coming year with Burnett also having work done on its roof.

Beach and waterway improvements 

The largest ongoing waterway project is the massive Colorado Open Channel construction, which was expected to require detours near the lagoon for about 16 months after the city started work last winter.

The $32.5 million project will connect the lagoon to Marine Stadium and improve the circulation of water at the lagoon, which previously depended on an underground culvert.

A project at Skylinks Golf Course near Long Beach Airport that will treat stormwater and prevent trash and other debris from entering the ocean is expected to be put out to bid later this year.

The city of Long Beach will soon break ground on a $32.5 million project to connect Colorado Lagoon with Marine Stadium. The project includes digging a channel through the western portion of Marina Vista Park and requires the construction of two road bridges. Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The city received a $7.5 million settlement with Monsanto in December and is pledging to use those funds to pay for future water quality projects like a trash interceptor barge in the Los Angeles River to prevent upstream contamination from entering city beaches, and trash capture devices at the Deforest Wetlands in North Long Beach. The latter project could go out to bid in the spring of 2024.

Some coastal amenities could be upgraded in the coming year including the construction of additional sports courts and a roller skating rink at Junipero Beach, which could begin construction in the coming months.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.