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City Staff Suggest Two Options for 6th Street

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, November 10, 2008, at 01:37PM
Sixth Street Viaduct Eric Richardson

The 1933 6th Street Viaduct, viewed from the 4th street bridge in a 2007 photo.

Should the replacement design for the 1933 6th Street Viaduct be traditional or modern? City staff have narrowed a list of options down to two recommendations, one from each category. One design featured a traditional steel arch, while the other offers a modern cable-stay design.

The historic bridge is an icon connecting Downtown with East L.A., but suffers from a condition called Alkali Silica Reaction. Described as "cancer," ASR combines with moisure to crumble concrete from the inside.

On October 23rd, Bureau of Engineering staff presented their preferred designs and alignment at a meeting of the project's Community Advisory Committee. The meeting will be the last before the project issues its Draft Environmental Report, set to be released before the end of the year.

City staff recommend that the replacement span use a new alignment that eliminates the current bridge's kink and instead offers a gentle curve. The bend has been the site of the majority of accidents to take place on the bridge. The new alignment would require that the city acquire many of the properties adjacent to the north side of the alignment on the east side of the river.

The replacement project is estimated to cost $340 - $402 million. Construction is aimed to start by 2011.

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