Just over one year after the Sixth Street Viaduct replacement made its debut, Los Angeles city officials have commenced work on 12 acres of new park spaces at the foot of the $588-million bridge.

View of new park space below Sixth Street ViaductHargreaves Jones

A groundbreaking ceremony held on August 5 by the Bureau of Engineering and Councilmember Kevin de Leon marked the official start of construction for the Sixth Street Park, Arts, and River Connectivity project - or "PARC." The $82-million project will include seven acres of new open space on the east side of the Los Angeles River in Boyle Heights, and an additional five acres of space in the Arts District to the west.

While Michael Maltzan provided the design for the landmark bridge, landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Jones is responsible for the park space below. The design concept, named "Canopy & Objects," includes three main components.

Ground-level view of Sixth Street Viaduct park spaceHargreaves Jones

In Boyle Heights, the eastern portion of PARC will start at the crossing of 6th Street and Mission Road, and feature grass fields, picnic areas, a splash pad, and event space. Additionally, plans call for sports fields and courts for basketball, soccer, volleyball, and potentially skateboarding.

West across the L.A. River in the Arts District, PARC will include  a new Arts Plaza and River Gateway at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Mesquit Street, with room for performances, a cafe, and restrooms. Additionally, a 1.4-acre space directly below the viaduct will house Leonard Hill Arts Plaza, named for the later developer who donated money towards the project. Other components of the western stretch of PARC include a performance lawn, a dog park, and fitness equipment.

View of Leonard Hill Arts PlazaHargreaves Jones

As with construction projects of all types, the estimated cost of PARC has swelled in the past years. Most recently, the price tag for the project was estimated at $60 million. Funding for the park includes grant money awarded through Proposition 68, among other sources.

Construction is expected to take roughly two-and-a-half years.

View of new park space at Sixth Street Viaduct from the Arts DistrictHargreaves Jones

The new park space is also expected to complement new transportation projects within the Arts District and Boyle Heights, including a new segment of the Los Angeles River bike path and a proposed extension of Metro's B and D Lines to 6th Street.

Likewise, developers have targeted properties in the near vicinity of the viaduct and accompanying green space, such as Vella Group, which is planning a Bjarke Ingels-designed high-rise complex directly south of the bridge, and East End Capital, which is planning a production studio in Boyle Heights.

Site plan for new Sixth Street Viaduct park spaceHargreaves Jones

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Aerial view of the Viaduct and BridgefestGary Leonard