$630 million project launches, to replace wastewater pipes under South Bay and Harbor Area

Jun 25, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, community meetings — and more planning — an ambitious $630 million effort to replace two aging underground wastewater pipes officially launched on Monday, June 21, as a two-story-high electric tunneling machine was lowered underground at the sanitation plant on the border of Carson and Wilmington.

The details have been continually refined since planning began in 2006. The Clearwater Project, its formal name, was approved in 2012 by the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts and was described by engineers involved in the work as sophisticated, intricate and precise.

The underground, 7-mile-long journey, which actually begins in July or August after the various sections of the machine are assembled, will take about four years to complete. Factoring in a two-year project at the end to build a smaller shaft at Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro that will connect to the existing outfalls to the ocean, the entire project won’t be finished until 2027, according to current projections.

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