ECA members, the Rebuild SoCal Partnership – Rebuild – consists of 2,750 contractors throughout Southern California that represent more than 90,000 union workers in all 12 Southern California counties.
As an industry advocacy group, Rebuild operates on multiple layers and endeavors, including liaison with ECA, to forward the interests of the public works and utility construction industry.
Under the guidance of Executive Director, Jon Switalski, Rebuild is dedicated to working with elected officials and educating the public in the region on the continued need for infrastructure funding. Additional effort focuses on enhancing the workforce while creating career construction jobs.
As an example, Switalski reminds us that “California was the first state in the nation to recognize the human right to safe, clean, affordable and accessible water. Los Angeles County covers more than 4,000 square miles, and in our desert climate, providing reliable, highquality water can be a challenge. Los Angeles County Water Projects help maximize stormwater runoff, modernize dams and keep safe drinking water flowing.”
“…a well-designed and maintained infrastructure is essential to our quality of life.”
The organization believes that a well-designed and maintained infrastructure is essential to our quality of life. With a primary focus on Southern California projects, Rebuild advocates for responsible investment in public infrastructure projects to help fix aging transportation networks, water, sewer and storm drain systems, while building for future needs and economic growth.
Rebuild works in conjunction with organized labor and construction management to raise public awareness and educate elected officials about infrastructure issues impacting Southern California.
A better understanding of the benefits of infrastructure investments helps to bolster a critical employment sector in the regional economy.
According to the group, Rebuild came about as a result of frustration pointing out that “Nothing will happen if we all just sit here being frustrated with this crisis. We are making efforts to do something about our failing infrastructure…
The group encourages industry stake holders to “Join the movement and lend your voice. We are here to inform and educate. Share your concerns with others and contact your legislators.”
Los Cerritos Channel Project
Among those projects Rebuild has advocated for is the $20 million Los Cerritos Channel project in south Long Beach. ECA contractor member Mike Bubalo Construction built the project that will ultimately collect water from streets, parking lots and other surfaces in Long Beach and Signal Hill, and funnel this water into a cistern where it will be treated to be reused for drinking and other household purposes.
The project takes the spotlight as leading the way in a new generation of area stormwater projects in Los Angeles County designed to convert runoff into potable water.
The project was initially expected to be about half its size. But as work progressed, funding for the project doubled to $20 million, thanks to new allocations from the Los Angeles County Public Works Department and the California Transportation Department, according to Dave Sorem, owner and vice president of Mike Bubalo Construction.
He said that because of the project’s nature as the first of a new generation of stormwater capture and reuse projects, many more government agencies were involved than is typical for stormwater projects. “We dealt with at least eight government agencies at all levels of government — federal, state and local,” Sorem said.
Another challenge he cited was keeping construction equipment under a height restriction imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration because of the project’s proximity to Long Beach Airport runways. The project is located on the south side of the airport.
The Cadiz Water Project
Rebuild is also involved with advocating for another innovative, new sustainable water source for Southern California with the Cadiz Water Project. The endeavor is a public-private partnership between Cadiz Inc. and the Santa Margarita Water District, Orange County’s second-largest water agency. The project will prevent the annual loss of groundwater to evaporation in the eastern Mojave Desert and create a new water supply – enough for 100,000 families a year – and a groundwater bank for Southern California water providers.
The Project will be located at the base of a significant desert watershed in Cadiz, approximately 80 miles from Barstow, California. Rain and snow that fall in the watershed’s upper elevations percolate below the ground and filter through cracks in bedrock and porous alluvial to enter a huge underground aquifer, which holds as much water as Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir. Over time, the groundwater eventually flows to highly saline playas or “dry lakes” at the bottom of the watershed, where it evaporates and is lost.
For more information visit Rebuild at //www.rebuildsocal.org