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How a supposedly free bridge over the L.A. River will cost taxpayers millions

How a supposedly free bridge over the L.A. River will cost taxpayers millions

In the end, the announcement was too good to be true. L.A. was going to get a “generous gift” — a bridge across the Los Angeles River, constructed with private money.

Six years later, city leaders are ready to build the project. But it’s definitely not free. Instead, the council voted Friday to move forward with a $16.1-million “cable-stayed” steel bridge connecting Griffith Park and Atwater Village, with taxpayers shouldering about three-fourths of the cost.

The cost of the roughly 325-foot span has gone up repeatedly in the intervening years, despite nearly $3.9 million in construction funding donated by a local businessman.

Omar Brownson, executive director of the...

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