Above the Los Angeles River, the swooping arches that will be the defining architectural feature of the new Sixth Street Viaduct are beginning to take shape.
The 3,500-foot bridge, which will connect Downtown Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, is being built to replace the original 1932 viaduct which was demolished in 2016 due to seismic vulnerability. The previous structure suffered from an alkali-silica reaction – sometimes referred to as “concrete cancer” - making it susceptible to collapse during a future earthquake.
Architect Michael Maltzan is designing the new viaduct, which will be highlighted by 10 concrete arches, a reference to the twin metal arches that were the signature of the original bridge. Plans call for multi-use paths along both sides of the roadway, with stairways and access ramps include for cyclists and pedestrians.
The viaduct is also being built to accommodate 12 acres of new green space below the bridge in both Boyle Heights and the Arts District. The park land, designed by Hargreaves Associates, will be built as a separate project and funded through state and local sources.
The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering currently estimates that the roughly $500-million viaduct will open in 2022 - a three-year delay from the 2019 completion date expected at the time of its groundbreaking.
The Sixth Street Viaduct is the largest in a new collection of Los Angeles River crossings, which include a trio of new bridges for equestrians, pedestrians and cyclists in Atwater Village and Glassell Park.
- Sixth Street Viaduct (Urbanize LA)