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More crashes, climbers and chaos on new 6th Street Bridge

Cars stop on the 6th Street Viaduct as occupants get out to take pictures.
Cars stop on the 6th Street Viaduct as occupants get out to take pictures.
(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Another day, another crash on the 6th Street Viaduct.

The latest collision on downtown L.A.'s newly constructed bridge occurred about 2 a.m. Friday morning when a driver crashed into the back of a pickup truck that was parked on the bridge, according to Los Angeles police. The truck was stopped in a “no parking” zone.

Dozens of curious onlookers quickly gathered around the crash site. Videos posted on social media show vehicles parked on the bridge, while some pedestrians scaled the bridge’s massive arches, hoping to catch a view of the scene.

Since its opening nearly two weeks ago, the new half-billion-dollar bridge, which connects downtown with the city’s historic Eastside, has proved popular not only with motorists but taggers and street racers. As a result, police and city officials have grappled with crashes, street takeovers and vandals.

Police have increased patrols on the bridge, and the department’s street-racing task force is keeping an eye on the area, officials said. Transit officials are looking at putting in higher fencing and some kind of traffic median that were not in the original plans.

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Eastside Councilman Kevin de Leon said in a statement this week that steps are being taken to protect the bridge. On Tuesday his office said the city will add cameras on the bridge to deter and identify drag racers and other illegal activity.

“This bridge is a lifeline — connecting Angelenos to opportunity, family, and the future. … We won’t be deterred by a few scofflaws who tarnish that vision for the people who need it most,” he said. “This is the first bridge built in the Instagram era — and as we’ve seen, people will do anything in the pursuit of going viral. That’s why we’re moving quickly on a multi-pronged effort that will keep folks from harming themselves and others.”


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