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