After six years of reconstruction, the historic 6th Street Bridge in downtown Los Angeles has reopened to the public.
The bridge connects the downtown Arts District and Boyle Heights in what the city called its largest project in history.
“The Sixth Street Viaduct isn’t just a connection between our communities – it’s a new landmark that represents the tenacity, beauty, and promise that defines Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with my fellow Angelenos who have been waiting for this day for six years and are ready to experience the benefits of this historic project.”
The $588 million project resulted in a 3,500-foot stretch of road, at 100 feet wide, and 10 pairs of arches towering 30-60 feet high.
The city also touted the bridge’s safety features, with design points created to protect cyclists and pedestrians, as well as a “seismically safe” infrastructure that allows the bridge two sway up to 30 inches in all directions in the event of earthquakes.
“After more than six years of being closed, we are excited to reopen the newly built Sixth Street Viaduct and usher in a new era for Los Angeles,” Councilmember Kevin de León said. “Once again, this bridge will take its place as one of Los Angeles’ most iconic landmarks connecting the Arts District with Boyle Heights. 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.”
A weekend celebration was held for the grand opening, with the bridge being lit up for the first time and guests being treated to a firework show that illuminated the downtown sky.
A day after the festivities, July 10 marked the official opening to the public, with the viaduct opening to pedestrians and bicycles from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, and fully opening to all traffic at 7 p.m.
Renovations connected to the bridge are not over, however, as a 12-acre park is slated to be built and opened underneath the viaduct in 2024. The park will include an arts plaza and entertainment amphitheater with a stage and viewing area on the western most side of the viaduct. Additionally, multiple sports fields and courts, as well as picnic areas, a dog park and playground will be featured in the coming park.
“This federally-funded $588 million landmark, known as the ‘Ribbon of Life Bridge’ or ‘Puente del Pueblo’ in Spanish, will reconnect Boyle Heights to Downtown Los Angeles and offer recreational activities – from bike paths to soccer fields – that will bring our communities closer together,” California Congressman Jimmy Gomez said. “The Sixth Street Viaduct is a shining example of collaboration between members of the community and officials at all levels of government.”