Nestled in the northeast corner of Chinatown, Los Angeles State Historic Park provides an expansive open space for residents of an increasingly crowded Downtown area.  That is, if you can reach it.

The park, located on a 32-acre site that was once a rail yard, presents a welcoming exterior to North Spring Street, which lines most of its eastern face.  But to residents of Solano Canyon and other neighborhoods to the east, pedestrian access to the park is a harrowing experience.  With North Broadway isolated on a hillside and the Gold Line tracks running below, the only way to reach the space on foot is via a circuitous 30-minute walk through Chinatown or Lincoln Heights.  But a new project from the California State Parks Department could offer a solution.

Officials held a series of community outreach meetings earlier this month regarding the construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge which would connect North Broadway to the park below.  According to the presentation materials, for conceptual locations are being considered:

  • West Side Bridge - located near North Broadway and Cottage Home Street;
  • Roundhouse Bridge - located at Bishops Road;
  • Central Bridge - located at Savoy Street; and
  • East Side Bridge; located near Solano Avenue.

A conceptual section shows that the bridge would need to stand approximately 30 feet in height to clear the Metro Gold Line's overhead catenary system and span more than 500 feet from end-to-end.  Several approaches are being considered at the park side of the, which may incorporate a looping ramp, a staircase, and an elevator.

The four bridge sites would connect with the communities to the east via a narrow strip of land owned by the Riboli family, which has partnered with Lincoln Property Company to propose a mixed-use project that could bring over 900 apartments to the site.

According to a representative of California State Parks, a budget for the project will be delivered to the State Legislature near the end of the year.  A timeline for construction would be determined if and when the Legislature chooses to fund construction of the bridge.

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