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Public Gets Look At Street Bridge Design Finalists

The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering recently held a series of community meetings on the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. Three final designs were presented to the public at the meetings, of which one will be selected.

More commonly known as the 6th Street Bridge, the Sixth Street Viaduct was built in 1932 and is one of a set of fourteen historic bridges spanning the Los Angeles River. At over 3,500 feet in length, it is the longest of all the bridges, and considered one of the city’s most important engineering landmarks.

There are plans to demolish and replace the Sixth Stret Viaduct, commonly known as the 6th Street Bridge, pictured above. (Downtowngal via Wikipedia)

Located in a highly urbanized area just east of downtown Los Angeles, the bridge is a critical east-west transportation corridor. The four-lane roadway connects Boyle Heights and the downtown LA Arts District, crosses multiple railroad tracks, US 101, and several local streets.

A 1986 Caltrans bridge survey found it to be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

But the bridge began to experience deterioration problems within two decades of being built, causing repeated costly repairs, and according to city officials, the bridge could collapse in a major earthquake.

The decision was made to demolish the existing bridge and to build a $401 million replacement.

Earlier this year the Bureau of Engineering solicited design proposals for a new bridge. Nine firms submitted proposals, six were interviewed and three became finalists, according to the LA Department of Public Works. The firms are AECOM, HNTB and Parsons Brinckerhoff.

The firms’first presentations, held on Sept. 12 at the PUENTE Learning Center in Boyle Heights, were video tapped and are available online at sixthstreetviaductreplacement.org.

The project has an advisory group—the Sixth Street Viaduct Design Aesthetic Advisory Committee (DAAC)—appointed by the Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Jose Huizar.

And while residents can weigh-in on their preferred design, there is no formal voting process for them to make the final selection, according to Tonya Durrell of the Los Angeles Public Affairs Office.

The design winner is expected to be decided early next month. The contracted team will prepare plans and specifications for the final design that could incorporate suggestions made by the public or address areas of concern. According to Councilman Jose Huizar, in whose district the bridge is located, the plans presented by the three firms are not final.

The final design plans should be completed in 2014, with construction getting underway in 2015. The project should be completed by 2018.

For more information regarding the project visit www.sixthstreetviaductreplacement.org or call (213) 978-0333. The presentations can also be viewed at the city’s Public Works building on Broadway until October 5.

Next week, EGPNews will provide a closer look at the three designs.