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Familiarize Yourself with the River

The LA River is a channelized river. Most of the river is lined with concrete along its sides and bottom.

Rectangular Channel
Trapezoidal Channel

There are two types of channel sections on the LA River: the rectangular box channel and the trapezoidal channel.

OLIN, 2019.

Some areas of the river have a “soft bottom” where soil and plants form the bottom of the channel. Other areas have concrete walls forming a rectangular channel, often called a box channel, or a trapezoidal channel formed by levees. In leveed areas, the top of the levee is often used as an access road or recreational trail. The area outside of the river bank is called the “landside” and sometimes includes areas for habitat, recreation, maintenance, or other park amenities. Together the river channel and the landside area make up the river right-of-way. The outside edge of the right-of-way is typically called the fenceline.

Trapezoidal Channel - Soft Bottom Channel
Trapezoidal Channel - Levee and Concrete Bottom Channel
Trapezoidal Channel - Levee and Soft Bottom Channel

There are a few trapezoidal channel typologies along the LA River. The trapezoidal channel either has a soft or concrete bottom and may or may not have visible levees.

OLIN, 2019.
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