City Council approves new river bridge in North Atwater

Rendering of North Atwater Village bridge/ Courtesy L.A. River Revitalization Corp

Approximate bridge location

The City Council on Tuesday approved a proposal to build a $6 million bridge for pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists that would span the Los Angeles River between North Atwater Village and Griffith Park.

Landowner and philanthropist Morton La Kretz and the River Revitalization Corp. are paying for most of the cost to build the cable-suspension bridge. But the city will also pick up a small part of the tab  and had to sign-off  on environmental impact reports.

The approximately 250-foot long bridge would be anchored on the Atwater Village side of the river near horse stables and corrals. It would connect to the L.A. River Bike Path and a tunnel that  continues under the 5 Freeway to Griffith Park.

Officials told KCET’s Departures blog that construction could begin next spring and take up to 10 months to complete.


  1. Beautiful. Love when philanthropists donate to public infrastructure projects like this. Thank you Morton!

  2. I hope I’m wrong but cyclist and pedestrians have had issues with sharing the river path, and now you want bikes, pedestrians and horses to share a bridge? I feel like there’s going to be conflict. I still think a bridge would better serve the river communities if it was erected further south near the Sonia Sotomayor High School so kids could have a more direct route to school instead of having to walking around to either fletcher or figueroa.

    • There is already another pedestrian bridge slated to be constructed at Rio de Los Angeles State Park that will be easily accessed by the HS students.

      The design of this bridge has separate wood pathways for the different uses. Horses and bikes don’t mix.

  3. Hang in there buddy, someday, someone will love you. Till then, try to keep your outbursts to a minimum, they’re not becoming.

  4. Well the city council ain’t too smart either. This bridge is needed about like we need a hole in the head. The residents didn’t want it, its not totally paid for by philanthropists as promised, it will be an eyesore at the river and used to allow gangsters and other vandals easier access to Griffith Park and will be vandalized to hell and back in no time. No money to improve the quality of the putrid water in the river or to clean up trash or provide signage and security but if you got a hair brained scheme you want to push off onto the river its a go real quick!!!!

    • I am a homeowner in Atwater and fully support this, you are from NoHo per your profile. I am sure not 100% of my neighbors supported this project but the overwhelming majority did. I agree with your passion about water quality in the river but you seem to be zealously opposed to any improvement outside of that. Unfortunately that makes your views look very narrow.

      • So sorry that those of us who live in No. Ho. have no right to have an opinion on this mess. If the “improvements” that were made made any sense and were something that actually were of benefit to the community along the river my opinions probably would not make my “views look very narrow”. Ugly bridges that are a bridge to nowhere do nothing to improve the river.
        When we go to these ground breakings and dedications of these hugely expensive projects at the river we see very, very few community people at them. 90% of those in attendance are “agency people” or members of “the city family”. This was more than true at the last great grand opening of the park at the footbridge. Since then that park has been vandalized several times, the plants are dying and the only people ever seen on a regular basis there are gangsters and homeless. When this bridge that you support 100% turns out to be like all the rest of these and becomes a magnet for the gangs from North Atwater to vandalize and have easier access to Griffith Park to do their mischief perhaps then you will not be so in favor of this ugly bridge. Oh, why didn’t you use your own name in your comments instead of saying I am the duck guy. I am and don’t really care you did that but I find it strange that you don’t have the courage to identify your self. And in closing may I ask….over the years that this “restoration” has been going on how many meetings about the river, ground breakings, dedications and how much input have you offered on the river???

        • Tony, let me start off by saying that I heed that of any human out there your knowledge and connection to this section of the river is by far the strongest and thus I truly respect your opinion. I personally was at the opening of the Sunnynook Park and North Atwater park, I happen to have a career that gives me the ability to attend a weekday morning groundbreaking, for most this is not an option. I understand that taggers routinely piss on these new projects but I don’t feel the actions of a few should hinder the revitalization effort from occurring. In fact I often walk with my daughter to the Sunnynook Park and have yet to see any gang members there or homeless, at least not during daylight hours (i am sure it occurs at night). My personal feelings are that these projects attract families, photographers, bird watchers, bikers, fishermen, horseback riders etc… to the area, and their presence deters the riff raff and also creates awareness that is a stepping stone to the more logical goals that you outlined above. No attention will be paid to water quality, trash or safety if it’s just a few of us calling for it, but if you build infrastructure that attracts more of are fellow Angelenos that voice gets louder. those are my current thoughts on the subject, thank you for being a true proponent of the river.

          • Unfortunately Joel these projects do not attract families or much of any of the other people you mention to the river. The river is not a place that people think of to go to, or they may go once and are appalled by naked bathers, people doing drugs, the smell of the water, etc and never return. Your belief that this deters the riff raff is a myth that Melanie Winter sold years ago….if you build it they will come. They built a lot at a lot of tax payer money and they did not come, and bridges and other flights of fancy can continue to be built at no small expense to the taxpayers and they will not come. As for fisherpeople it is illegal to fish in the river and fisherpeople are not the most careful of people. The only place where it was legal to fish was in the poorly planned “recreation zone” between Fletcher Drive and Figueroa and that period is over. I have seen what fisherpeople do to ducks and geese and I constantly pick up their hooks, line and trash. Whatever is allowed at the river has to be made clear and enforced continually. What has been done is to ignore setting any rules and ignoring the need for security. Over the years many promises were made by Eric Garcetti when he was CD13 council person, Tom LaBonge and others and little if any of what was promised in the way of signage and safety ever came to pass. Every time we ask for something there is a different excuse as to why it cannot be done, as an example according to stories told by Mitch O’Farrell in the past regarding signage the city cannot post signage on county property. The LAPD has been known to say they do not want to patrol the river because there is no way for them to get out in a hurry if need be. The LAFD had told us when they have been called to put out fires set by vandals and homeless that everything at the river is trash so they just let it burn. The voices of those of us who do not tow the party line are heard its just that we don’t have the money to grease the palms that those whose voices are heard do, but there are enough pissed off dissidents that our voices are going to become louder and louder and we will be heard.

          • Like you Joel I too have a job where I can go to these events like fake ground breakings and dedications. Like me I’m sure you noted that there were few community people at the the dedication of the park at Sunnynook footbridge and few if any were recognized while every city and agency person in sight was recognized and many spoke. Its like that at every one of these events. We have asked over and over why they do these things at such early hours in the morning when most people who work to pay taxes can’t attend and they have no good answer. Its the same with meetings. Few attend the council committee meetings, council people and staff and hangers on are given time to speak basically as long as they want but the few of us from the public as given a minute and promptly shut off. The basic philosophy of the city fathers is that they do not wish to hear from the public and prefer that we sit down and shut up and keep forking over the money.

  5. While I do love the idea, it still would’ve been nice if there was some money in that budget to fix the deathtrap that is the tunnel under the 5 fwy. I pass under it frequently, but as a grown man it creeps me out. And not to mention that the bike path and the 5 fwy here are separated by a chain link fence.

    And unfortunately yes, this will get tagged to no end. And the city will choose to cover said tagging with whatever color paint they can find. I still don’t understand why there can’t be one consistent color choice for dealing with tagging. The Hyperion Bridge must have 50 shades of beige on it.

    • There is never money in the budget to fix, or keep in good repair, any thing. The thought that there should be a budget to keep things in good order does not enter their minds. A good example of that is the new nearly billion dollar LAPD headquarters where they did not have money in the budget for maintenance of the grounds and trees that were planted and they died and had to be replaced after Miss Jan Perry found money for such.

  6. CONGRATS to Councilman La Bonge and Atwater Village folks for making this happen – so many horses (and riders) have fallen and have been hurt in the river. The horse that was airlifted from the river after falling into the river (several years ago), was never was the same. Can’t wait to see it built. THANK YOU!!!

    • Councilman LaBonge and Atwater Village folks had little to do with “making this happen”. Exactly how many horses have fallen and been hurt in the river?? I think you will be disappointed after it is built because it will become yet another eyesore that will not be maintained at the river.

  7. Super Ugly. Waste of City money.

  8. Another AV stakeholder

    I love it, both the concept and the design. It will be a fantastic way to better connect east vs west river communities.

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