Thousands of pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters, skateboarders and others converged on the new 6th Street Viaduct on Sunday to celebrate the official opening of the instantly iconic bridge that connects downtown Los Angeles to the city’s historic Eastside.
The bridge opened six years after construction began to replace the old viaduct that had served as a beloved Los Angeles landmark for nearly a century. The sweltering heat and cloudless sky didn’t deter the crowds from taking in the dramatic view of the downtown skyline before the bridge opened to vehicles for the first time.
Robert Gauthier has been with the Los Angeles Times since 1994. He has covered international and national stories, including Middle East conflicts in Iraq and Lebanon and catastrophes such as the Sept. 11 attack in New York and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. His assignments also include sporting events such as the Olympic Games, Super Bowls and NBA championships. Gauthier was the photographer for a story detailing the failings of a Los Angeles public hospital; the project won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for public service. Other awards include the Robert F. Kennedy, World Press, Pictures of the Year and Sigma Delta Chi. Before The Times, Gauthier worked at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Escondido Times-Advocate and the Bernardo News in San Diego County, his hometown.