October 14, 2013

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LA River Restoration Effort Earns Geosyntec Project National Honor

Water resource engineers and geomorphologists for Geosyntec Consultants and MMI Engineering are members of the project team for the Piggyback Yard Feasibility Study, a project tapped for distinction this fall by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Each year, the ASLA Professional Awards honor the top public places, residential designs, campuses, parks, and urban planning projects around the world. For 2013, the Piggyback Yard Study earned an Honor Award in the Analysis and Planning Category, which will be presented to the project team at the society's annual meeting in November.

"As the technical lead for hydraulics, hydrology, and water quality, Geosyntec is able to show that the Piggyback Yard revitalization project is a real possibility with very significant public and environmental health benefits," said Mark Hanna, a senior water resources engineer and an Associate of Geosyntec based in California.

The Piggyback Yard Study examines the possibilities for converting a 125-acre rail yard adjacent to the Los Angeles River into a new terrain supporting a riparian habitat of trees, vegetation, and physical features normally found on stream banks and flood plains.

As the technical consultant for the Friends of the Los Angeles River and the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, and partnering with Mia Lehrer and Associates and ELP Advisors, Geosyntec this past year performed the hydraulic analyses necessary to conceptualize the removal of more than 2,000 linear feet of concrete walls currently used to channel the Los Angeles River through downtown Los Angeles. Removing the walls will allow for inundation of up to 60 percent of the Mission Yard, a parcel of land owned and operated by Union Pacific.

Geosyntec engineers and scientists also conducted flood risk management, water quality, and water supply analyses for the project during the past two years. They are slated to advance those studies while adding climate change, geotechnical engineering, soil remediation, and advanced hydraulic analyses moving forward. The project team includes Mark Hanna (Los Angeles), Matthew Bardol (Oak Brook), and David Vance (Atlanta). Additional contributors in Los Angeles include Ken Susilo, Megan Otto, and Rebecca Batchelder.

The study was funded by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a partnership between the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, a state agency, and the Conejo Recreation and Park District and the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District, both of which are community park agencies.

Learn more about Geosyntec's Water and Natural Resources Conservation and Restoration Practice.

For more information on the Piggyback Yard project, contact Mark Hanna in Los Angeles at 310-957-6113 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..