The Harbor Commission voted Thursday to approve a nearly $52 million construction contract for the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade Project on the Los Angeles Waterfront, with construction expected to start this fall.

“This $52 million investment means that we will finally break ground on the long-awaited Wilmington Waterfront this year,” City Councilman Joe Buscaino said. “The Wilmington community has been patient and deserves more green space, buffer zones and open space to alleviate industrial impacts.”

The promenade project includes the realignment of Water Street parallel to the existing railroad tracks and construction of a community park adjacent to Banning’s Landing Community Center, along with a pier, dock, restroom, playground and parking lots.

A Wilmington Youth Sailing Center is also a planned component of the waterfront promenade project.

Work along Water Street will include utilities, street work, grading, paving, striping, lighting and landscaping, according to the commission. Other project improvements to the nine-acre site include irrigation, signage and furnishings such as public seating, bike racks and drinking fountains.

“Our vision for revitalizing Wilmington is becoming reality,” Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares said. “The fact that this project remains on schedule during this pandemic is inspiring for all of us who have highly anticipated this transformation.”

The project was designed by engineering firm Sasaki Associates Inc., and the construction contract was awarded to Sully-Miller Contracting Co. of Brea. The project is expected to be completed in 2023.

Planning and investment in public space and urban revitalization on the Wilmington Waterfront has been underway since 2006, the commission stated. After community input and completion of environmental reports in 2008, the vision for the Wilmington Waterfront Development Program was in motion.

The program includes two signature projects, The Wilmington Waterfront Promenade Project and Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project. The planned projects focus on connecting Wilmington’s historic waterfront to its commercial corridor on Avalon Boulevard.

“We are committed to connecting Wilmington to its historic waterfront and creating more public access for both residents and visitors,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “Our Public Access Investment Plan, launched in 2015, has given us the ability to predictably invest and plan for public-serving projects like this one.”

The commission said the port has invested more than $600 million on public access projects since 2005, with an additional $400 million committed through 2025.

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