Early designs of a proposed bridge that could one day connect the Glendale Narrows to Griffith Park won support on Tuesday from the City Council, which signed off to start seeking funding for construction.
Last fall, city staff and an architecture firm sought feedback from the community at three meetings on what kind bridge they’d like to see built at the Narrows as part of the third and final phase to beautify Glendale’s border with the Los Angeles River.
After narrowing down several designs, residents were most in favor of the “Garden Bridge” design, an S-shaped, curvilinear structure that could span more than 300 feet in length with two canopied seating areas that have been referred to as “pods” where people can congregate and enjoy the views of the river.
John Merkler, a project director with the United Kingdom-based architectural firm Atkins, presented four versions of the “Garden Bridge” design that depicted the seating areas with varying levels of shade structures.
How much the city gets in grant funding will ultimately dictate what will be built and how much shading could be provided in the seating areas.
Councilwoman Paula Devine told Merkler that she’d like to see plenty of protection from the sun.
“I’d like to see as much shade as possible because I know we have a lot of residents that like to walk and walk in the shade, not the sun,” she said.
The bridge over the Narrows will connect Glendale to Griffith Park in Los Angeles, something Councilwoman Laura Friedman said she viewed as a plus for people who live in that part of the city.
“Particularly in central and south Glendale, we have a very large population and it’s a park poor area… having those people easily walk and bike to Griffith Park will change their lives,” she said.
The council voted 5-0 to approve the conceptual designs and initiate the grant-funding search, which could take several years, said Public Works Director Roubik Golanian.
It’s estimated the bridge will cost between $10 to $15 million.
The first phase of the of the Riverwalk project was completed in the end of 2012 and entailed the installation of a half-mile trail along the narrows and Glendale’s border with the river.
The same council vote on Tuesday also approved the conceptual designs for two parks, which will be the second phase of the project.
In 2016, construction of Flower Plaza Park, to be situated at the intersection of Flower Street and Fairmont Avenue, will be completed. Also to be built next year will be Confluence Park, to be located where the river meets the Verdugo Wash.
The plans also called for a second and a shorter bridge in the same spirit of the Garden Bridge design that would span Confluence Park and near the city’s sewer lift station.