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6th Street Bridge

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The 6th Street Viaduct spans the Los Angeles River, connecting Boyle Heights to the Arts District. In 2016, safety concerns prompted the city to demolish the original bridge, an iconic example of art deco that had been in operation for more than 80 years. After many delays, its $588 million replacement finally opened in July 2022.

The reopening has been... messy. The bridge’s rolling arches and the scenic views it provides have drawn thousands of Angelenos to walk, bike and drive across it. But that mass appeal has led to risky antics, most notably by drivers, who’ve made the bridge their backdrop to speed, burnout and, in some cases, crash their cars. The LAPD has shut down the viaduct several times in recent weeks, citing safety concerns. Cyclists have called out the city for the protected bike lanes, which were in fact designed to allow cars to access them in an emergency. Local safety advocates say the city should take the hint and redesign the new viaduct to prioritize people rather than cars. Some community activists in L.A.’s historic Eastside feel the media attention on improving the bridge really highlights the lack of focus on improving the neighborhoods it connects.

A view of the 6th Street Viaduct and the downtown skyline from Boyle Heights.
The 6th Street Viaduct connecting Boyle Heights with downtown L.A. reopened in July 2022.
(Raquel Natalicchio for LAist)

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