Will the historic Glendale-Hyperion bridge still look historic after the city gets done with it?

The Eastsider has been on the Los Angeles River bridge beat of late, with coverage of a proposed Meso American museum for the Riverside Bridge near Cypress Park and a modern replacement for the Sixth Street viaduct connecting Boyle Heights and downtown. The city’s bridge rebuilding program also extends upstream to the landmark Glendale-Hyperion bridge, which sweeps up from Atwater into the hills of Silver Lake. City engineers want to strengthen what they call the Glendale-Hyperion Complex, which is composed of six separate adjacent and nearby bridges and viaducts, against earthquakes and realign some traffic lanes.

But, unlike the modern-looking replacement proposed for the Sixth Street bridge, the city’s Bureau of Engineers promises that the historic look of the Glendale-Hyperion bridges – built between 1928 and 1930 – will not be changed for the most part. In fact, the balustrades that disappeared from the edges of Hyperion bridge will be restored, said the bureau’s Environmental Coordinator Wally Stokes. “We are going to try to replicate what the original bridge looked like,” he said of the structure, which is a historic-cultural monument.

The $36.5 million project, which was originally unveiled more than two years ago, is now slated to begin in 2011, according to the most recent estimates. Once work begins it will mean at least two years of construction, detours and lane closures. That will give you plenty of time to enjoy those balustrades as you are stuck in traffic.

Top photo by Floyd B. Bariscale via Flickr

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