It turns out that SABER’s giant LA River piece was whitewashed with nearly a million dollars of economic stimulus funding. Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, BJD Resourcing was awarded an $837,000 contract to clean up graffiti along Los Angeles’ drains and ditches. While touting the creation of eight new jobs, the US Army Corps of Engineers reports that contract is intended to make the largely unseen water channels “look presentable.” Considering how quickly their buff job will be painted over by graffiti writers and vandals, it sounds like a lot money being flushed down the drain.

Photos by Jay Field/USACE