Port of L.A. awards $51.9 million contract for Wilmington Waterfront

Construction of the Wilmington portion of LA Waterfront revitalization is expected to begin this fall.

LOS ANGELES—Plans to upgrade a dilapidated portion of the Port of Los Angeles received a major infusion in late August, as the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners awarded Sully-Miller Contracting Co. with a $51.9 million construction contract to build the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade Project.

The Wilmington Waterfront Project, hailed by city and port officials as the “window on the waterfront,” is part of a vision to rebrand the Port of Los Angeles as a commercial shipping venue that also doubles as a visitor-serving destination. The Port of Los Angeles is specifically working to revitalize the San Pedro and Wilmington waterfronts as part of the “LA Waterfront” project.

Construction on the Wilmington Waterfront is expected to begin this fall, according to port district staff.

“This $52 million investment means that we will finally break ground on the long-awaited Wilmington Waterfront this year,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Joe Buscaino said in a released statement. “The Wilmington community has been patient and deserves more green space, buffer zones, and open space to alleviate industrial impacts.”

The new Wilmington Waterfront will realign Water Street and make it run parallel to existing railroad tracks. A community park would be built next to the Banning’s Landing Community Center. Other features of the new promenade include a waterfront park, public pier, public dock and playground area.”

Port district staff added there will be a few improvements in the area, as well, such as new irrigation, updated signage, public seating areas, bicycle racks and drinking fountains.

Sasaki Associates designed the project; Sully-Miller Contracting, the firm tasked with the project’s construction, is based out of Brea, California.

Wilmington Waterfront should be online in 2023, according to port district staff.

“Our vision for revitalizing Wilmington is becoming reality,” Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner Lucia Moreno-Linares said in a released statement. “The fact that this project remains on schedule during this pandemic is inspiring for all of us who have highly anticipated this transformation.”

Plans to revitalize the Wilmington waterfront has been in effect since 2006. An Environmental Impact Report for the revitalization project was approved in 2008.

The Wilmington Waterfront Promenade Project is one of two revitalization plans for the Wilmington area; the other plan on deck is the Avalon Promenade and Gateway Project. Both plans, according to port district staff, would “[connect] Wilmington’s historic waterfront to its commercial corridor on Avalon Boulevard.”

Revitalization plans also call for the addition of a Wilmington Youth Sailing Center.

“We are committed to connecting Wilmington to its historic waterfront and creating more public access for both residents and visitors,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka stated. “Our Public Access Investment Plan, launched in 2015, has given us the ability to predictably invest and plan for public-serving projects like this one.”

The port district’s Public Investment Plan directed $1 billion to be invested in public access projects through 2025; about 60 percent of that funding has already been committed.

LA Waterfront also calls for the revitalization of neighboring San Pedro; portions of that revitalization are already in play.

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