In a move that has local environmentalists cheering and residents breathing a sigh of relief, the infamous All American Asphalt plant in Irvine has shut down its operations for good. The City Council of Irvine, during a specially convened meeting back on April 11, locked in a deal to purchase the controversial site and give the green light to the establishment of a sprawling new green space dubbed the Gateway Preserve, according to an announcement on the city's official website.
After years of back-and-forth with the community, the production halt took effect last Wednesday, and the city’s gears are now turning to finalize the sale in early 2024. After taking over the asphalt plant and its property, the city will begin the process of tearing down and cleaning up, paving the way for a nearly 700-acre recreational area that promises a breath of fresh air for outdoor enthusiasts, nestled in the picturesque hills above North Irvine, and broadening the scope to connect with the adjacent 20,000-acre Northern Open Space Preserve.
The long-awaited Gateway Preserve, described on Irvine's news feed, will serve as a crucial link between residential areas, notable trails like those at Limestone Canyon and Black Star Canyon, and natural treasures including a Native Seed Farm and thriving avocado farms, offering cyclists, hikers, and nature lovers a diverse range of activities. The overhaul reflects Irvine's dedication to an active lifestyle and eco-sustainability.
Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan didn't mince words about the city's achievement, proclaiming the closure of All American Asphalt and the birth of the Gateway Preserve as a "remarkable achievement" for the community, asserting, “The creation of the Gateway Preserve is an incredible testament to what the City, in partnership with the community, can accomplish when goals and visions align,” The city site proliferates these statements from the mayor. All American Asphalt’s closure thus marks an end to a saga that has long troubled residents of north Irvine, who have raised alarms over pollution and other health dangers that hung over their homes like a dark cloud according to the article of City of Irvine.