BOYLE HEIGHTS — It will be a few months before the concrete-and-steel Sixth Street Bridge, one of the L.A. River spans linking Boyle Heights and Downtown, is closed and demolished to make way for a new structure. But this Saturday, Oct. 24, the city is throwing a Sixth Street Bridge Farewell Festival, complete with bands, children’s activities, fireworks and, of course, food trucks.
The 3,500-foot-long bridge, officially known as the Sixth Street Viaduct, is being replaced with a new, $420 million span because its concrete has cracked and continues to deteriorate, making it vulnerable to an earthquake, say city officials.
Workers have spent the past couple of months preparing detours and other traffic improvements in preparation for next year’s closure and destruction of the bridge, which will mean motorists, pedestrians and cyclists will have to find a new way to cross the river for at least three years. Instead of a dramatic, Las-Vegas-hotel-like-demolition/explosion, the Sixth Street Bridge will be demolished over nine months, said Tonya Durrell, a spokeswoman with the Department of Public Works.
“The current plan is to close the viaduct and demolish it in January 2016,” Durrell said in an email. “Construction of the new viaduct will be completed in 2019.”
Details about the demolition and new construction can be found on the project’s website.
In preparation for the farewell festival, the bridge will be closed beginning on Friday, Oct. 23, at noon and reopen Sunday morning, Oct. 24. Officials warn that parking is scarce on both sides of the bridge and encouraged visitors to take the bus, carpool or use ride sharing services. The festival will also include community booths, live mural painting and a 6th Street Bridge Art exhibit.
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