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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Get Out The Big Scissors: Ribbon cutting to be held for new Riverside Bridge and Cypress Park roundabout

January 2017: The new Riverside bridge completed | Kevin Break

CYPRESS PARK — The new Riverside Bridge and Riverside Roundabout are scheduled to be dedicated on Monday, Jan. 30, after more than four years of construction and a decade of planning, city officials have announced.

The largest part of the  $60 million project includes a curving, 1,200-foot-long new bridge that spans the Los Angeles River and connects Elysian Valley and Cypress Park. The new structure replaced an older bridge that some residents and activists tried to save as a new public space. But those efforts failed.

On the Cypress Park side of the river, a 100-foot-wide roundabout — the city’s first major traffic circle — will funnel vehicles traveling between Figueroa Street, Riverside Drive and San Fernando Road without any stop signs or lights (Never driven around a traffic circle? Here’s some advice).

The middle of the roundabout will serve as a pedestal for  nine, egg-shaped sculptures that contain the face of a person selected at random from the community.

The roundabout itself is one of several projects intended to improve an isolated area cut off from the rest of Cypress Park by the 5 Freeway and from Lincoln Heights by the Arroyo Seco Freeway and river channel. The roundabout will be next to a plaza with a computer-controlled fountain and near parkland that is planned for the area around the confluence of the Arroyo Seco and Los Angeles River.

The ribbon cutting and ceremonial grand opening will take place at noon.

July 2013 | New Riverside-Figueroa bridge (left) takes shape alongside old bridge (right) | The Eastsider

July 2014: Old bridge is being demolished in sections as traffic travels on newly constructed bridge | Photo by Kevin Break

November 2015: New Riverside-Figueroa bridge curves over L.A. River and railroad tracks | Kevin Break

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11 comments

  1. Please please please, do not let the pocket park next to the traffic circle become yet another homeless encampment!

    • That will happen. This bad idea of a roundabout is next to day laborers at Home Depot. This roundabout is a death trap waiting to happen. No community input. No community meetings. Homeless will have a new place to sleep now.

  2. NeighborhoodSniper

    Finally! After being closed off for nearly 6 years and Tax dollars wasted! But, it’s for a good reason.

  3. And it already has graffiti 🙁

  4. @avillager if you look at the viaduct today, there should be no graffiti on it.
    I was there yesterday watching men bead-blast it all off.

  5. I have some concerns about traffic safety. Cars crossing into Cypress Park are gonna be flying across that bridge. I expect many t-bones at that intersection.

  6. Six years was MUCH to long for a bridge of this size. The Wilshire Grand Tower which is the tallest building west of the Mississippi started construction in February of 2014, and that building is nearly complete. The time it took to build this bridge was total incompetence.

    • Charles D, you must not have been watching very closely. Yes it was being worked on for a long time but it was rarely ever closed. I found the building process very interesting to watch. Great pains were taken to keep the bridge passable throughout. I also think the roundabout is a bold experiment. They exist in many other countries and are a good answer for traffic flow, etc. Let’s see how it works here. My greatest fear is that those vertical rock slabs will get snapped off by the first off-roader. It also is very pedestrian and bike friendly, with dedicated lanes that continue the river front path. Lots of other cool aspects. I;’d say check it out before trashing it.

  7. A major reason for the time delays was the relocation and replacement of a major water/sewer (can’t remember which) pipeline (yes, one of the big ones like they replaced all around NELA ….remember those….especially on Fig & York?). It was the one chance to do the work before they started on the bridge. Couldn’t do it after.
    DPW work closures don’t usually get much press (except complaints for the closures) but they are necessary, if time consuming.

  8. I shot photos at Riverside every week for 61 months and I can’t recall the bridge being closed for more than, at most, a day?

    • Kevin, while the bridge was not closed to automobiles, the bridge was closed to pedestrians. Some people don’t have cars. They had a shuttle that only ran only during the day and late afternoon that would take you across the bridge, but after that you would risk your body for trying to walk across the bridge since the shuttle stopped a little after dark. Also there is no MTA bus that crosses that bridge. It was a great inconvenience.

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