Bridge between Glendale Narrows, Griffith Park moves forward

Designs for bridge planned between Glendale Narrows and Griffith Park gets City Council's OK

Early designs for a bridge that could one day connect the Glendale Narrows to Griffith Park have won support from the City Council, which signed off on seeking funding for construction.

Last fall, city staff and an architecture firm sought feedback from community members on what kind of bridge they'd like to see built at the Narrows as part of the third and final phase to beautify Glendale's border with the Los Angeles River.

After narrowing down several ideas, residents were most in favor of the Garden Bridge design, an S-shaped structure that could span more than 300 feet in length. It would include two canopied seating areas for people to congregate and enjoy the view.

John Merkler, a project director with the United Kingdom-based architectural firm Atkins, presented four versions of the Garden Bridge that depicted the seating areas with varying shade structures.

How much the city gets in grant funding will ultimately dictate what will be built and how much shading could be provided in the seating areas.

Councilwoman Paula Devine said she'd like to see plenty of protection from the sun: "I'd like to see as much shade as possible because I know we have a lot of residents that like to walk and walk in the shade, not the sun," she said.

The bridge over the Narrows will connect Glendale to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, something Councilwoman Laura Friedman said she viewed as a plus for people who live in that part of Glendale.

"Particularly in central and south Glendale, we have a very large population and it's a park-poor area … having those people easily walk and bike to Griffith Park will change their lives," she said.

The council voted 5 to 0 to approve the conceptual designs and initiate the grant-funding search, which could take several years, said Public Works Director Roubik Golanian.

It's estimated the bridge will cost between $10 million and $15 million.

The first phase of the Riverwalk project was completed at the end of 2012 and included the installation of a half-mile trail along the Narrows and Glendale's border with the river.

The council vote last week also approved the conceptual designs for two parks, which will be the second phase of the project.

Construction of Flower Plaza Park, at Flower Street and Fairmont Avenue, is expected to be completed in 2016. Confluence Park, near where the river meets the Verdugo Wash, will also be built next year.

The plans also call for a second and shorter bridge in the same spirit of the Garden Bridge design that would span Confluence Park near the city's sewer lift station.

arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Twitter: @arinmikailian

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