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Groundbreaking held for a car-free L.A. River bridge

Rendering of the North Atwater Multimodal Bridge

Atwater Village — Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking this morning for a bridge that will allow pedestrians, equestrians and cyclists to cross over the L.A. River between North Atwater Village and Griffith Park.

The 300-foot-long bridge had initially been expected to be paid for entirely with private funds and was to be turned over to the city at no cost. But public monies ended up being used to pay for most of the structure as estimated costs tripled.

“The L.A. River is an extraordinary treasure with limitless potential for the communities that surround it,” Garcetti said in a statement. “This bridge will give Angelenos better access to green space — creating a destination for people across Los Angeles to disconnect from city life and enjoy nature.”

Ground breaking day | Mayor of Los Angeles/C.C. 2.0

Landowner and philanthropist Morton La Kretz pledged $4.75 million for the bridge when officials announced plans for the structure in 2011. That was supposed to cover most of the bridge’s cost. However, the most recent estimates indicate that the bridge will cost more than $16 million, leaving taxpayers to pay for the rest.

The cable-stayed bridge is expected to be completed late next year.

A section of the L.A. River path was closed last month as workers began to prepare for the bridge’s construction.

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14 comments

  1. Since the design first was presented, that some picture has been posted. It shows a bridge only across the river to the other side of the river, not then continuing across I-5 to the other side at Griffith Park. This picture clearly shows the bridge ends on the other side of the river at ground level, not high up to also span the freeway.

    So, what is really going in — it either is not going to Griffith Park, or that picture is not what is going to be built.

    • Do you actually live here and plan to use it, or are you just stirring the pot for the sake of drama…

      Those that know the project are aware of the underpass at the end of this bridge that connects the bike path to Griffith Park. It’s immediately west of Lincourt Stables.

      When completed, this bridge will allow people, horses, kittens, mice, raccoons and cyclists to go from Atwater to Griffith Park in about 2 minutes

    • It’s pretty simple. It started out as a $5m bridge for equestrians and pedestrians. Then the cyclists needed to get their finger in the pie and because horses and bikes don’t mix well they had to be separated thus ballooning the cost. Then street services or whichever city department is going to maintain it argued that they need to be able to drive trucks on it for maintenance. Apparently they can’t carry tools. So now the pedestrian/equestrian bridge that was going to cost $5m is a pedestrian/equestrian/bicycle/truck bridge that is going to cost $15m.

  2. $16 million for a pedestrian bridge? Way too expenssive.

    • People saying that it is too expensive… what is this observation based on? Are you all professionals in engineering and construction? Are you intimately aware of how much it costs to create a safe, long lasting piece of public infrastructure given the span involved?

      • Apparently the engineers are bad at math, otherwise why is something that was supposed to come in at under 6 mil now costing 16? May be that’s a bridge I don’t want to cross if it’s designed the way the budget was. Oh, and I’m not a engineer, just an angry and put upon taxpayer.

        • It’s not the engineer’s fault. The Parks Department said “we want to drive our maintenance trucks over the bridge. And upgrading it for trucks ended up costing a significant amount.

    • Everything the city gets involved in skyrockets in price like that. It originally was supposed to be $5 million, when a private project by the horse stable (to seriously increase the value of those stables by having direct access to the park). Gee, as an example, the city a few years ago made a contract to have reusable supermarket bags made that sell at retail for about $1 and paid $5 wholesale each to have them made. Sure makes you wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes. This project was $5 million, then the city got involved, and it soared to $15 million.

  3. Love it! Great to see sensible development in this area that will benefit Angelenos. Interesting design, too.

  4. This is great for the city, but would prefer if they spent this money on affordable housing for my gente of limited means.

  5. The point is that tax payers were not supposed to be burdened by this sewer-viewer addition…they lied!

  6. What about the pedestrian bridge over the river they promised for Cypress Park residents , south east of the 2, north west of the 101 ? Atwater village guys are so close to that Los Feliz river walk over, it seems dumb that they’re already groundbreaking on a bridge so close to the existing one, and that seems younger in conception than the one the city council promised for Cypress Park years ago. Connect Cypress Park’s Rio de Los Angeles State Park to the frog town bike path!

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