Residents of Pacoima and San Fernando know the wash there is a big impediment to commuting and can also be deadly. But on Monday they got a big boost.
To some residents, the wash represents not only a separation from their neighbors in San Fernando which is just a stone's throw away but also a separation from being a safe and livable city. And how they feel one step closer to being just that.
Residents hope two big checks bring big changes for Pacoima. One, to the tune of $5.8 million from the office of Congressman Tony Cardenas, will help build a new bridge over the Pacoima wash, a new park, and new bike pathways.
"This is what we've been waiting for," said Cindy Ortiz, a Pacoima resident. "This is such an exciting moment. Oh, I'm gonna cry."
The wash has made life difficult and dangerous for the people who live here. They remember when 14-year-old Eli Rodriguez drowned while trying to take a shortcut through the wash during heavy rain.
"He was trying to take the shortest path home and sadly lost his life," said LA City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.
Local leaders say the new money will help build a second and wider bridge to their neighbors in San Fernando. It's a journey of only a few hundred yards but which many residents say takes much longer.
Associated Program: Pacoima Wash