Toxin hikes bridge cleanup cost

first_imgPICO RIVERA – Hazardous materials within the debris left from the fire-damaged Beverly Boulevard bridge will increase cleanup costs by an estimated $150,000, Pico Rivera officials said Friday. The bump in the cost of removing the debris came after officials discovered that the wooden parts of the structure, which burned Nov. 1, had been coated in a chemical preservative called creosote. Creosote is produced from the high-temperature treatment of beech wood, coal or the resin of the creosote bush. It is considered to be carcinogenic to humans, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week If the substance seeps into the groundwater supply, it can take years to break down. That is a big concern for county officials, because part of the flood-control channel the Beverly Boulevard bridge spans is a spreading ground used to capture rainwater to recharge the underground water table. Officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works realized it would cost more than the originally estimated $75,000 to dispose of the debris in accordance with federal environmental regulations. The bulk of the cost increase will cover the transportation of the hazardous materials, said Bob Spencer, public information officer for of Pico Rivera. “Suddenly, they found that the debris couldn’t be taken to a normal landfill,” Spencer said. “It turns out there are only two places that allow this particular material to be dumped. One is in Arizona and the other is in Northern California, so they picked Arizona because the dumping costs were cheaper.” However, even with cheaper disposal fees, Public Works officials had to readjust their cleanup estimate upwards. Now, the total cost of removing the debris and transporting it is pegged at $225,000. Hauling the debris to Arizona will take about 40 19-ton truck loads, Spencer said. The money for the work will come from the city’s “relinquishment fund” – a $5 million fund created when Caltrans paid the city for taking over the maintenance of Rosemead Boulevard, a former state highway in Pico Rivera. The city will then be reimbursed from $10.7 million in federal funds recently promised to Los Angeles County for the Beverly bridge replacement project. For several years, the county and the two cities that co-own the bridge – Pico Rivera and Montebello – have been working to secure the federal funding necessary to completely replace the span. Ironically, on the day of the fire, the money was finally approved by the federal government. “Debris removal was part of the original demolition costs and would have been taken from the $10.7 million anyway,” Spencer said. “So when that comes in, we’ll just reimburse our relinquishment fund the entire $225,000. “It was the easiest place to borrow from because it’s unrestricted money that’s to be used for roads anyway.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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