Construction is on track to begin next year for one of the largest open space projects in Long Beach.

Longbeachize reports that Long Beach city officials are expected to select a contractor for Spring 2022 for a new tidal basin which will connect the Colorado Lagoon to the Alamitos Bay by cutting through the western side of Marina Vista Park.

Expected to be completed over a roughly two-year period, the project is expected to improve water quality for both wildlife and visitors to the park, while also adding new walking paths and landscaping to the park.

Site plan for the Colorado Lagoon and new canal through Marina Vista ParkCity of Long Beach

According to Longbeachize, the lagoon is one of the few remaining coastal salt marches on the West Coast, and played host to the 1932 U.S. Olympic Trials. It was formed as part of the Los Cerritos wetlands, which once spanned 2,400 acres along the coast, but was later cut off from the larger space as a result of urbanization and development. Construction to divert waterflow during the 1960s cut it off from natural tidal flow, leading to intense pollution.

By 2001, work began on what would eventually be a more than 20-year revamp of the Colorado Lagoon, improving water quality and restoring its surroundings as green space for visitors. The roughly $26.3-million canal connecting to Alamitos Bay is considered the last major phase of the project.