Gov. George Deukmejian has signed into law a bill to encourage local governments to build their own sound walls along freeways rather than waiting for state funds to build them.
The new law, by Assemblyman Dave Elder (D-Long Beach), guarantees that city sound-wall projects will retain their positions on a state funding list if cities build the walls themselves. The cities will be reimbursed by the state when their projects reach the top of the list.
Local governments had previously been guaranteed reimbursement, but for a variety of reasons some projects had moved down the list while others moved up.
Elder has said the law is intended to prompt the City of Long Beach to build a 1.5-mile wall along the Artesia Freeway in North Long Beach. After the bill passed the Legislature, however, local officials said the city does not have enough money to build sound walls.