By BARRY LANK
The money is lined up to build a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the L.A. River between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley. But it’s going to cost much more than expected.
Constructing the approximately 400-foot-long Taylor Yard bridge is now estimated to cost $19 million, according to the Board of Public Works. That’s about $11 million or more than double the estimate in 2014.
The bridge design — a metal span painted orange and black — has not changed significantly during the last three years. But the construction market has, according to Mary Nemick, director of communications for the city’s Bureau of Engineering.
“The current cost estimate reflects the current market conditions for construction in L.A., which has becoming increasingly competitive,” Nemick said. “In late 2016, the Bureau of Engineering received bids for a similar bridge. The cost of the Taylor Yard Bridge is based on the bids received for that bridge, while accounting for project scale and construction start date.”
The bridge will provide the most direct link between Cypress Park and Elysian Valley. The northern end of the bridge in Cypress Park would be located near Kerr Road, with a bike and pedestrian path connecting the bridge to San Fernando Road. On the Elysian Valley side of the river, the southern end of the bridge would be located next to the L.A. River path between Altman Street and Dorris Place.
The design incorporates pre-fabricated cubes that provide the frame for the bridge, which will include an 18-foot-wide pathway for pedestrians and cyclists. A recycled water pipeline that will help irrigate Elysian Park will be blended into the design of the bridge. The only recent changes were the addition of a pier in the middle of the span, and a longer ramp leading down to the access road on the north side of the bridge.
The Taylor Yard bridge is not the only L.A. River span to go away over budget. A “cable-stayed” bridge between Griffith Park and Atwater Village that was supposed to be a gift to the public is now expected to cost taxpayers about $12 million as construction costs soared.
Nemick said the funding for the Taylor Yard bridge has been secured by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Construction is currently expected to begin in the summer of 2018 and be completed by December 2020.
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