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#101SlowJam ends four hours ahead of schedule

Demolition work on the 6th Street Bridge that spanned the 101 Freeway in downtown was completed faster than planned, allowing for the early reopening of a 2.5-mile section of the freeway.

Demolition work on the 6th Street Bridge that spanned the 101 Freeway in downtown was completed faster than planned, allowing for the early reopening of a 2.5-mile section of the freeway.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Good news for Super Bowl fans: The #101SlowJam officially came to an end at 10 a.m. Sunday, about four hours ahead of schedule, a city official said.

Demolition work on the 6th Street Bridge that spanned the 101 Freeway in downtown was completed faster than planned, allowing for the early reopening of a 2.5-mile section of the freeway.

Mayor Eric Garcetti applauded the efforts of work crews, adding “that was one fast Slow Jam.”

The ahead-of-schedule demolition “is a testament to what can be accomplished when we get into the groove, pull together and plan ahead,” Garcetti said in a statement.

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Traffic delays during the closure lasted between 10 and 20 minutes on Saturday, but returned to normal levels by the evening, said Carrie Bowen, director of Caltrans District 7.

“Our detour plans worked well, and the alternate routes were able to handle the additional traffic,” Bowen said.

Mary Nemick, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, said good weather and lack of equipment problems combined for the early finish.

“This is great news for football fans,” Nemick said. “It gives everyone a little more time to get to their parties.”

The closure ran from the split of the 10 and 101 freeways to the interchange of the 5, 10 and 101 freeways, according to the L.A. Bureau of Engineering.

On Saturday morning — 12 hours into the demolition work — crews already had demolished the entire 220-foot-long section of the roughly 3,500-foot-long bridge deck that they planned to tackle this weekend.

Officials say the 84-year-old 6th Street Bridge must be removed because of chemical deterioration in the span’s concrete. The demolition is expected to take nine months, and a replacement bridge is planned for completion in late 2019.

The 6th Street Viaduct — as it is formally known — was built in 1932 and was the city’s longest, extending about 3,500 feet.

It became a historical landmark, playing a supporting role in numerous movies, TV shows and music videos.

Planners have imagined that the rebuilt concrete span will dedicate equal space to pedestrians, bicyclists and cars. They hope it will better integrate the downtown Arts District and Boyle Heights — the dichotomous communities it connects.

ben.poston@latimes.com

Follow @bposton on Twitter.


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