Long-awaited 6th Street Viaduct opens to the public this weekend
The 6th Street Viaduct project’s grand opening in Los Angeles will begin Saturday with a community celebration and continue through the weekend.
The four-lane bridge will connect Boyle Heights and the Arts District across a 3,060 foot-breadth that spans the Los Angeles River, 101 Freeway, railroad tracks and Metrolink tracks.
Dubbed the “Ribbon of Light,” the $588-million project is considered the most extensive bridge project in the city’s history and took six years to complete, with delays due to COVID-19.
The city is having a three-day celebration to mark the completion of the new bridge connecting Boyle Heights and the downtown Arts District.
“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,” Councilman Kevin de León said in a news release. “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.”
To recognize completion of this project, the city will hold a weekend-long celebration. There will be a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at the bridge Friday, at which city officials will hold a news briefing. The media event is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will include L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman De León and city engineer Gary Lee Moore.
The community celebration open to the public will kickstart on Saturday.
Chances are you’ve set foot in a building by Michael Maltzan Architecture. Get ready to walk, ride and drive the firm’s most visible project yet.
Roughly 15,000 residents are expected at Saturday’s event, which will feature live music, food, a market, a vintage car display — which includes a lowrider tribute — and more, according to the 6th Street Viaduct Replacement Bureau of Engineering.
Saturday night will conclude with a fireworks show and the official lighting of the bridge.
As of June 22, tickets for the Saturday event sold out. Those who RSVP’d will get priority access from 2 to 6 p.m. to enter the event. After 6 p.m., ticketholders will have to wait in line to get into the event.
Residents who couldn’t get tickets can take part in Sunday’s community events, which will not require tickets. Gates will open at 11 a.m. to bikes and pedestrians only. Pedestrians are asked to walk along the sidewalks, while bikes will have access to the driving lanes.
New design showcases iconic arches from the original bridge
The bridge will officially open to cars at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The original 6th Street Viaduct, built in 1932, was a structural landmark in Los Angeles featured in films including “Grease” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” The new viaduct has been built to replace the original, which was deemed “seismically deficient and irreparable” and demolished in 2016.
The new bridge was designed by architect Michael Maltzan, who focused on creating “something that could knit the city together in a more consequential way.” The design of the bridge was selected by the Bureau of Engineering through an international design contest.
Starting in 2023, the Bureau of Engineering will begin constructing a 12-acre park below the bridge. Sixth Street Park is estimated to cost $40 million and will “provide access to the Los Angeles River, public art, recreational programming and much more,” according to a news release.
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