The last two miles of the Pacoima Wash will be converted into a concrete flood-control channel under a $6-million plan approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council.
When the project begun in 1984 is complete, Pacoima Wash will be confined within man-made structures from a point 1 1/2 miles north of the Foothill Freeway to the Los Angeles River, said Los Angeles County Board of Public Works spokeswoman Jean Granucci.
The county will pay for most of this leg of the project, which county supervisors approved in March.
The improvements will help surrounding residential areas by reducing flooding of low-lying properties and city streets during heavy rains, Granucci said.
During stormy weather, the wash has flooded parts of Lassen, Plummer, Nordhoff, Rayen and Parthenia streets and created traffic hazards.
The potential for flooding has increased in recent years because of heavy construction in the northeast San Fernando Valley, Granucci said.
As more land is paved and buildings are constructed, the ground absorbs less rainwater and runoff increases.
Once the project is complete in April, much rain runoff will be confined within eight-foot-deep channels--either open or enclosed.
The improvements may also help prevent the sandy wash from continuing as a playground for rowdy youths, Granucci said.
"There's been a problem with kids in the wash, having parties, throwing rocks," she said. "I think this project will provide more security to homeowners."
Construction of a five-foot-high chain-link fence and a service road along the watercourse will keep people out of the area, Granucci said.
The project also will eliminate dip-crossings in streets intersected by the wash and add curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The city will pay for those improvements.