Locals got a rare chance to tour the Echo Park Lake construction site Thursday morning.
Visitors went out in five waves starting at 9 o'clock, passing off hardhats from one group to the next.
The Department of Public Works and the Citizens Oversight Committee received an overwhelming response to their invitation for the tour, with over 125 responding.
Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch joined the 9:30 a.m. group, which included former Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce president Cheryl Revkin, and long-time Echo Park residents Luiza Padilla-Mavropoulos and Oscar Torres.
Council District 13 candidate Emile Mack also joined in for the approximately half-hour trip.
Highlights included stops at the Peninsula, the Boardwalk and the Boathouse.
The Peninsula is wedged between two planned wetlands at the north end of the lake. On its right is the the soon-to-be restored lotus bed.
From the north, the Lady of the Lake statue will overlook the lake's signature fountain to the south. That fountain will be lit with colored lights, according to one of our guides.
Our second stop, the Boardwalk, is just west of where Echo Park and Park avenues meet. When it is complete, tanks underneath it will reclaim and purify water from Echo Park and Glendale Boulevard sewers before it enters the lake.
Our final stop, the Boathouse, is on the east side of the lake near Echo Park Avenue. Already fully restored, it now features a fully up-to-code kitchen, Hoagi Abdallah, of the Bureau of Engineering, told us.
According to Abdallah, bidding to operate the boathouse concession will open shortly. Unknown is whether one vendors will get the right to sell food and rent boats.
Also still open to question is whether the Department of Recreationa and Parks will allow cycling around the approximately 3/4-mile path around the lake.
According to our guides, it will be made of a porous material that may not be suitable for bikes.
After the tours, many headed over to the Echo Park Recreational Center for a Q&A hosted by the Citizens Advisory Committee.
Some Lake neighbors hoped to raise concerns about the dust raised during the project, as well as the re-location of the lake's turtles.
We'll be posting a photo essay by Gary Leonard with more photos of our tour and others.
But meantime, enjoy the above video we shot, of a tractor hard at work on the lakebed Thursday morning.
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