Naples Seawall Replacement Project Completes First Phase

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The City of Long Beach on Saturday re-opened the Rivo Alto Canal to boat traffic. Approximately one quarter of the canal had been closed to boat traffic while the City replaced the aging concrete seawall with a new, steel seawall. The City installed nearly 1,900 linear feet of seawall in a section that stretches from the Ravenna Bridge to the eastern portion of The Toledo Bridge. This project is the first phase of a multi-phase replacement of the island’s public seawalls.

“This project will preserve Naples for generations to come,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Naples is such an important part of the Long Beach community, not only for the residents, but also for the visitors who stroll the canals, the kayakers enjoying the ocean, and swimmers cooling off on a hot day. I’m proud to re-open this Long Beach gem.”

The new seawalls consist of steel sheet piles coated to prevent rust in the marine environment. The 47 ½ foot sheet piles were driven into the ground using silent piler technology, which also limited vibration and liquefaction. The piles were then capped with concrete.

“I am so pleased to announce the completion of Phase One of the Naples Seawall project,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price. “City staff and the contractor have been working diligently to deliver a high quality project. I, along with residents, have been anticipating this moment. Looking at the beautiful new seawalls, sidewalks, and landscaping, I can say it was worth the wait.”

In addition to a new seawall, the right-of-way along the canal was also improved. New handrails, gates, and stairs were installed, allowing the public to safely enjoy the canal and providing residents with better access to their docks. New streetlights, reminiscent of the historic streetlights found elsewhere on Naples, were selected through a community engagement process. The project also included a new irrigation system for the parkway, new palm trees and drought tolerant shrubs.

The Rivo Alto and Naples Canals were constructed in the early 1900s in the delta of the San Gabriel River, which is the area that is now Alamitos Bay. The existing vertical concrete seawalls were built in the late 1930s after the Long Beach earthquake in 1933. Subsequent repairs were made in the late 1960’s.

In 2009, an engineering study determined that some portions of the seawalls have “significant risk of ‘global’ failure due to their present deteriorated condition, if the site experiences a ‘moderate’ near-source earthquake.” The study divided the public seawalls into six phases, with the first phase addressing the area that was in the most severe condition. Funding for the next section of seawall repair has been approved by the Long Beach City Council, with engineering and design work set to begin next year.

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