The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering announced Thursday that it has begun preparing for soil testing at the Taylor Yard G2 property, a 42-acre parcel in the Cypress Park neighborhood that the city bought last year for $59.3 million as part of a larger revitalization effort along the Los Angeles River.

The city plans to convert the riverside parcel into open and recreational space, but officials last year said a significant environmental clean-up of the site is needed and could to take five to 10 years. The soil testing is expected to last about six months and preliminary results will be shared at a summer community meeting, according to the Bureau of Engineering.

“We are doing testing in areas that are believed to be less contaminated to determine if these can be opened to the public for early access,” said City Engineer Gary Lee Moore. “The city’s goal has always been to get people safely on the site as quickly as we can.”

The city will work in collaboration with the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control, which has approved phase one of the testing that will focus on 14 acres of the site that previous studies found to be less contaminated, according to the Bureau of Engineering. The first phase is expected to take three months and phase two, consisting of analyzing the remaining 28 acres of the site, is expected to be completed in the fall.

“The work we are doing will allow us to confirm data from previous studies and gather new information on what we need to do to make the site accessible,” Moore said. “Our first priority is to ensure the property is safe for public use.”

The city bought the land last year from the Union Pacific Railroad, and estimated at the time that its development will cost $252 million, including the purchase price.

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