A new look is likely for the Sixth Street Viaduct

The concrete and steel Sixth Street Viaduct, one of 14 bridges spanning the Los Angeles River, is slowing disintegrating from inside as a chemical reaction eats away at the concrete. The 3,500-foot-long bridge that has connected Boyle Heights and downtown since 1932 needs to be replaced to withstand a strong earthquake, say engineers. What will that replacement look like? After designers came up with a range of options, ranging from traditional to contemporary, it looks like residents would rather look to the future than the past, said city officials.

“They would like to have a more modern structure – a suspension bridge is favored,” said Wally Stokes, the environmental coordinator for the project, of the opinions expressed so far by a bridge Citizens Advisory Committee and nearly two years of community meetings. City engineers presented their concepts (including the one above of a cable-stay bridge) in October for the bridge replacement, which could cost more than $400 million, according to Blogdowntown. A final design has yet to be selected.

A draft environmental impact report on the bridge replacement is scheduled to be released this month, and a bridge Community Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday night. A final EIR, completed after a 60 day comment period, will recommend what approach to take to the replacement. The final say, however, rests with the City Council.

I know that rendering above is only a concept, one of several. But, wow, that is one ugly bridge.

Rendering of a cable-stay option from the Bureau of Engineer via Blogdowntown
Bottom photo from Buz Carter via Flickr

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