Everything You Need to Know About the Opening of Sixth Street Viaduct

Councilmember Kevin de León (CD14) has announced the opening date for the long-anticipated Sixth Street Viaduct and is planning a two-day community celebration to kicks things off.

“After more than six years of being closed, we are thrilled to reopen the newly built Sixth Street Viaduct and usher in a new era for Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Kevin de León. “Once again, this bridge will take its place as one of Los Angeles’ most iconic landmarks connecting the Arts District and Boyle Heights.

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This celebration will be a tribute to the years of dedicated work that went into creating one of the most inspiring public works projects in our City’s history.”

Sticking to the Plan.

The project, which began in 2016 with the demolition of the original Sixth Street Bridge, was meant to replace the original 1932 structure deemed seismically-deficient and irreparable.

Original 6th Street Bridge built in 1932

Following extensive community engagement the design of the bridge, known as the “Ribbon of Light”, was selected by the Bureau of Engineering through an international design contest with the task of design awarded to HNTB (infrastructure solutions) and architect Michael Maltzan. The contractor is Skanska Stacy and Witbeck.

With this new bridge linking Boyle Heights to Downtown Los Angeles comes sidewalks on each side of the viaduct, protected bike lanes, helical structures connected by paths to both the north and south sides of the viaduct and a long west ramp from the north side of the bridge to the ground near Mateo Street.

6th street bridge
Photos by Gary Leonard – 6th Street Viaduct 2020

The viaduct project, funded by the Federal Highway Administration and the California Department of Transportation, and the City of Los Angeles created hundreds of jobs, adding to the economy of central Los Angeles and stands out as a futuristic archeological wonder.

Starting in 2023, the Bureau of Engineering will construct a new 12-acre park underneath the structure that will provide access to the Los Angeles River, public art, recreational programming and much more.

The $40 million park, of which $8.5 million comes from state Prop 68 dollars, will also be home to the Len Hill Arts Plaza, made possible via a donation by the Leonard Hill Foundation.

With 10 sets of LED-lit arches that can change color and five sets of stairs connecting the viaduct to the ground underneath, the project, at $588 million, is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles…and there’s more to come.

Photos by Gary Leonard – 6th Street Viaduct 2021

But first! a Celebration… Vintage Cars on Day 1

For many Angelenos, the last time we stepped foot on the location was the night it all ended for the Historic 6th Street Bridge. Led by then Councilmember Jose Huizar, we danced among thousands of Cisco kids under a full moon and fireworks farewell, for one last time.

All a distant memory, thanks to the City of Los Angeles soon the City will return with an opening celebration to rival the last.

The community celebration will take place across two days, Saturday July 9th and Sunday July 10th.

“The 6th Street Viaduct isn’t just a connection between our communities – it’s a new landmark that represents the tenacity, beauty, and promise that defines Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with my fellow Angelenos who have been waiting for this day for six years and are ready to experience the benefits of this historic project.”

Photos by Gary Leonard – 6th Street Viaduct 2022

On Saturday July 9th, the viaduct will open to pedestrians at 2:00 p.m. There will be musical performances, food, 100 Years of Cars and other festivities. Headlining band is Ozomatli, along with other well-known artists, artisans and food trucks. The celebration will end at 9:00 p.m. with fireworks and the lighting of the 20 arches.

Bike Friendly Day 2

On Sunday July 10th, the viaduct will be open to bikes and pedestrians from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pedestrians are asked to stay on the sidewalks and bikes will have use of all lanes.

Access to the celebration will be from the eastside of the viaduct in Boyle Heights at Boyle Avenue and Whittier Blvd.

All visitors will need a free ticket to enter the event. Free tickets can be reserved at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grand-opening-of-the-sixth-street-viaduct-tickets-360641 286797

Author: Jackson Roberts

Just a Good Old Man Who Loves His Dogs l jackson@dtla-weekly.com

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