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Bolivar Park construction--viewing area open; Downey Avenue affected

Bolivar Park construction--viewing area open; Downey Avenue affected

Kids love to watch construction equipment at work. Well, in the coming weeks, Lakewood kids can see excavators and lots of dump trucks at work digging out an area the size of a football field 20 feet deep at Bolivar Park.

The work to excavate the large hole for the concrete reservoir is scheduled to continue through the month of February, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, when it is not raining. After that, additional interesting construction work will take place.

Knowing that some residents would enjoy seeing the construction work underway, the City of Lakewood has moved two park bleachers into a viewing area just outside the construction fencing on the north side of McCormick Pool at Bolivar Park. Come by any time during the construction hours to take a look. But for safety reasons, do not enter the construction site itself.

During the excavation work from mid-December to the end of January, weekday commuters along Downey Avenue near Bolivar Park may experience some delays when dump trucks are entering or leaving the park. Drivers may want to consider alternate routes during that time.

Lakewood is the first city in California to be awarded full state funding to construct this new kind of “stormwater capture system” at Bolivar Park. The project will bring in water from a nearby flood control channel, clean it, store it in a reservoir being constructed under the park, and then use the water to safely irrigate the park. The project will enable Bolivar to transition away almost completely from using drinking water for irrigation.

During construction, which will run until late 2017, the park area immediately north of the swimming pool will be closed as will the two picnic shelters in that area. However, the rest of the park will remain open during construction, including the two new playgrounds and athletic fields. The swimming pool will also operate normally during the summer.

When completed, Bolivar Park will receive three new picnic shelters with BBQ grills and tables, a new irrigation system for a large portion of the park, and new turf in the area disturbed by the construction.  The project will be housed underground when finished, and the park will be returned to full recreational use.