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First Street Bridge Prepares for Widening

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, September 02, 2008, at 12:01PM
tower Ed Fuentes

One of the First Street Viaduct's western arches has been removed and placed on the short jog of N. Santa Fe as crews prepare to widen the roadway. The work is part of construction for the Gold Line's Eastside Extension, scheduled for completion in late 2009.

The First Street Viaduct opened in 1929, and is one of the series of classic Los Angeles River bridges designed by Merrill Butler. The current project will widen the bridge by approximately 26 feet, allowing the Gold Line tracks to run down the middle of the street. Metro construction workers have already installed the track onto the existing bridge structure.

Keeping an eye on the Neo-Classic style tower as it sits in the street is the same security team overseeing the soon-to-be dismantled James K. Hill & Sons Pickle Works Building on First Street. The building, which abutted the bridge, was acquired by the city so that a portion of it could be torn down to make way for the expanded bridge.

The Gold Line Eastside Extension travels south from Union Station across the 101, coming down Alameda before turning left onto 1st street. Once across the bridge, it enters a 1.8 mile tunnel through Boyle Heights.

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