Following months of site preparation and utility relocation, construction is finally slated to begin for a new pedestrian bridge crossing La Cienega Boulevard.

The bridge, which will connect the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and Kenneth Hahn State Park, is the centerpiece of the forthcoming Park to Playa trail, which will run between Baldwin Hills and Playa del Rey.  The 13-mile multi-use path will build off of an existing network of hiking trails starting at Stocker Street, which will eventual join with the Marvin Braude Bike Path along the north bank of Ballona Creek.

“The Park to Playa Trail started out as a vision,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in a news release. “A vision that we could connect the Pacific Ocean to this incredible space we know as the Baldwin Hills Park Lands. This will be the first seamless walking and biking trail created that will connect the communities of South Los Angeles directly to the beach.”

In addition to allowing pedestrians and cyclists cross La Cienega Boulevard, the new bridge will also include native landscaping catering to small wildlife living within the neighboring parks.

“The Baldwin Hills Conservancy has been working in lock step with the County to implement the vision of a regional trail that traverses the Parklands and ends up at the coast. Putting a pedestrian, bicycle and wildlife bridge over La Cienega marks the final piece of the Park to Playa Trail,” said Baldwin Hills Conservancy Executive Vice President David McNeill in a statement. “Tomorrow is certainly cause for celebration as we set the tone for the next 20 years of park expansion, community access and wildlife connectivity.”

Completion of the bridge is anticipated in Fall 2020.

Planning for the Park to Playa project began a decade ago, and construction has occurred in phases over the past seven years.  Since 2013, a new series of connections and trails have been built to link the various public parklands within the Baldwin Hills area.