Disassembly Required: Taking apart the Sixth Street Bridge arches

Photo by Kevin Break

BOYLE HEIGHTS — The 150-foot-wide steel arches of the Sixth Street Bridge were perhaps the most eye-catching and photographed part of the structure. This past week, the work of removing the four arches began as part of the demolition of the historic span that crosses over the Los Angeles River.

Photographer Kevin Break was on hand as crews began cutting the metal arches away from the concrete sections of the bridge, setting off a cascade of sparks into the river bed below. Then, giant cranes lowered the arches, parts of which were covered with tagging and graffiti, to the ground. Two of the four arches had been removed as of Saturday.

One of those arches will be salvaged and placed in a park underneath a new bridge that will replace the old structure, officially known as the Sixth Street Viaduct.

The old bridge, which engineers say is vulnerable to failing in a major earthquake, is being replaced with a new structure with 23, giant, Y-shaped columns. The new bridge is not expected to be completed until the end of 2019.

Residents can stay updated, and even watch the occasional live video of the demo work, at SixthStreetViaduct.org

Photo by Kevin Break

Photo by Kevin Break

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