BOYLE HEIGHTS — Those who travel frequently between Boyle Heights and Downtown L.A. across the Sixth Street Bridge will have to start taking detours on Wednesday. That’s when the historic span will be closed to traffic in preparation for its demolition and eventual replacement with a new structure.
“This is it,” said Bureau of Engineering spokeswoman Mary Nemick of the closure, which had been postponed from earlier this month. Nemick said the bridge will be permanently closed during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 27 but did not have a specific time. After the closure, traffic will be detoured to the 4th and 7th street bridges (see map below) until 2019, when the $420-million replacement bridge is scheduled to be completed.
Demolition work begins on the east end of the bridge over the 101 Freeway during the first weekend of February. That same weekend — from Friday, February 5 at 10 p.m. until Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 pm — a roughly one-mile section of the freeway will be closed in both directions.
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.
Construction crews have already been at work in recent days at the base of the bridge. Photographer Kevin Break has captured images of a giant blue crane lifting sections metal-rebar columns into place.