By JENNIFER LOPEZ and GUADALUPE LAZARO
BOYLE HEIGHTS — Bus drivers trying to get from Boyle Heights to downtown express irritation at the traffic delays caused by the replacement of the Sixth Street Bridge. But transportation officials say they should get used to it, because the project will take three years to complete.
On average, 900 cars an hour used to travel across the 84-year-old bridge —known officially as the Sixth Street Viaduct — before it was shut down for reconstruction in January, according to Bearj Sarkis, transportation engineer with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT). The bridge is being replaced because its concrete was crumbling, making it unsafe. The nearly $450 million project includes wider sidewalks for pedestrians, protected bicycle lanes and an eight-acre park underneath the bridge.
Community members now take alternate routes to get to their destinations. Sarkis recommends commuters take the Seventh Street Bridge, which is one block south of the Sixth Street Bridge, or the East Fourth Street Bridge, which is two blocks north.
Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth and a sister website with stories also produced by community members “por y para la comunidad.”
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