New Design for Sixth St Bridge

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Sixth St Bridge – photo courtesy of LAPL.org

According to the Los Angeles Times, the unveiling of the new design for the Sixth St bridge was met with disappointment by Boyle Heights residents and the 6th Street Viaduct community advisory committee. Many feel the bridge is too modern and spare looking and lacks historical continuity.

“I said as far as I am concerned, if you are going to put this bridge with cables there, you might as well not put a bridge there at all. I would rather not see one there,” said Victoria Torres, a board member of the Boyle Heights Historical Society. “It’s very disappointing when the city is trying to push something on you that you didn’t agree with.”

The bridge is in a state of irreversible decay and is plagued by some kind of “concrete cancer” that can lead to a collapse in a heavy earthquake.

The Los Angeles River bridges figure prominently in the symbolism of Los Angeles especially for long time residents like Councilman Ed Reyes:

“We have very few iconic structures to begin with, but if you look at these bridges, they represent Los Angeles,” he said.

The bridges have also been the historical demarcation between Downtown and the Eastside:

The bridges are throwbacks to a time in Los Angeles before sprawl, when linking the city center on the west side of the Los Angeles River and the bustling neighborhoods on the east side was of key importance.

What do you all think about the new bridge design?

14 thoughts on “New Design for Sixth St Bridge

  1. The new design pretty much sucks, but the Public Works people said that unless Union Pacific let them build a replica of the old one they’d be forced to scrap the old design of the bridge.

    I am not about to start believing the excuses some downtown bureaucrat throws out there to cover themselves. I think their story about Union Pacific needs to be explored a bit more.

  2. It could be worse, but it really lacks character. They should be able to do better than that.

  3. Damn…come on Los Angeles, Why do you have to destroy every Historical Landmark????
    The old Wooden 6TH Street Bridge that use to run on 6th Street from St.Louis St over Hollenbeck Lake
    To downtown was also demolished thanks to the construction of the 5 Freeway.

    The new design is crap, like stucco on a Victorian home in the Heights!

  4. it’s really hard to tell. if you look at, for example, http://www.daylife.com/photo/08nS1Mf07r8Vw, and compare to the picture of the model of the new bridge above, you can see that the portion pictured covers only a very small section of the bridge’s overall span. and thanks to the AWESOME journalism at the la times, there are no pictures showing the full proposal.

    i’m no fan of the current bridge. the metal arches look like they were photoshopped in as an afterthought.

    that sentiment will go double if the cabled portion of the new design is as small as the model suggests, bound on either side by something totally different.

    now, if they just made the main pillar more like http://www.flickr.com/photos/justanotherrandomhero/3274277781/in/pool-773320@N22/, i think i’d picnic on the bridge everyday.

  5. Just completely restore it from the bottom up. The 1886 Santa Fe Bridge in Highland Park was completely redone when the Gold Line was built, works great, looks the same. Pasadena did it with their landmark Colorado Street (Suicide) Bridge. Why, the resistance to restoration?

  6. “The rare degenerative condition is called alkali-silica reaction, and officials say it has weakened the viaduct to the point that officials say it has a 70% chance of collapsing in a major earthquake within 50 years. It is the only span along the river to have such a condition”

    I’m with Walt, restore it, it’s a beautiful historic bridge and shouldn’t be tampered with except to retrofit it.
    And as for $345 million for a new one I’ll take the 70% chance for another 50 years.

    Curious that for such a “fragile” bridge it has withstood multiple earthquakes and floods since it was built in 1932. The beautiful No. Broadway bridge was built in 1911.
    These bridges have stood the test of time when many new technologically advanced and engineered bridges and structures have gone down like sacks of potatoes in recent earthquakes.

    I smell a rat.

  7. This looks like a classic L.A. fight brewing. A bunch of engineers against the will of the community. Judging by how many freeways got built in East L.A., the engineers are used to winning. I hope that streak ends with this bridge.

  8. Hardly every u see traffic on the bridge.. but its also Classic…
    and long…

    keep it or change it

    same for me

  9. i went to a mayoral candidate forum and ran into victoria torres, the principal community representative quoted a few times in the la times article. we were both waiting to speak to candidates, so we didn’t have a whole lot of time to chat, but i passed along what i read here, that she has the people on her side.

    erik, those are some great pictures.

  10. I really like the 6th street bridge mostly, there is room for improvement. The bridge is up the street from where i live and has always been part of a scenic view, to look at downtown while at one end of the bridge or to BH from the other end. i use the bridge on a daily bases to go to work or go into downtown.

    But it seems like there really is an issue of historical sentiment vs functionality of the bridge.

    I think the studies clearly show preserving or restoring the bridge is out of the question. The degenerative concrete it has is comparable to cancer.
    Just like you wouldnt tell a doctor, to preserve or restore a lung with cancer, the suggestion that a bridge with a comparable condition should be preserved or restored is ridiculous.

    So people learn to let go of the old and embrace whats coming. As to Don Quixote’s claim about taking the chance that it will survive. Really? Are you serious? The city wants to throw some money and improvement over to BH and you would rather ignore it. Or would the issue better be addressed after the bridge crumples and someone dies. then people respond by say “if the city knew was deteriorating why didnt they do something about it.”
    Come on now people.

    Anyone who uses the bridge on a daily bases knows its not the safest bridge, nor the most accommodating. A blind curve, no center divider, and narrow walk ways for pedestrians. And forget about going over the bridge if your handicapped. There is room for improvement on the current bridge.

    Dont get me wrong I like the look of the bridge and it compliments well with the other bridges. its the perfect setting for the Festival De la Gente (back when it was on the bridge) or the LA marathon. And losing that architecture is a shame, but the bridge is a reflection of the time it was built. I think the bridge and its design should reflect the current communities it joins together, not that of those 70 years ago.

  11. Does anyone know when the next meeting is? I would like to go and express my opinion.

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