The Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project
One of America’s most famous and iconic bridges, the Sixth Street Viaduct, acts as a vital connection between the growing Arts District on the west side of the Los Angeles River and the historic neighborhood of Boyle Heights on the east side. The bridge, built in 1932, spans nearly 3,500 feet across the river and has been used to represent Los Angeles’s more gritty side in countless movies, music videos and TV commercials, including riverbed car chases.
Yet, due to a rare chemical reaction in the cement supports and seismic vulnerability, the Sixth Street Viaduct is being replaced.
The $482 million project to replace the old viaduct, the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, is being led by City Engineer Gary Lee Moore and the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering. It is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles and is funded by the Federal Highway Transportation Administration and the California Department of Transportation, along with City funds.
The design of the bridge, known as “The Ribbon of Light”, was created by Los Angeles architect Michael Maltzan, winner of the City’s international design contest in 2012. Maltzan is part of the HNTB design-build team and contractors Skanska and Stacy and Witbeck.
The Bureau of Engineering is also designing and constructing a 12-acre park underneath the new structure. It will be a one-of-a-kind project that utilizes space that previously was underutilized, making it into a world-class park with access to the Los Angeles River, public art, recreational programming and much more.
The spectacular design of the new bridge and the many community features on, next to and below the bridge, is bringing together a working collaboration of residents, elected officials, business leaders, schools, labor unions, cyclists, neighborhood activists and artists and many more, never before seen in a public infrastructure project in Los Angeles.
The project is creating hundreds of jobs, adding to the already vital economy of central Los Angeles and its neighbors. Mayor Eric Garcetti and our many partners broke ground on the new bridge in February 2015. The bridge is expected to be completed in late 2020.
In addition to the cost of replacing the viaduct, the City will invest over $13 million in grant and City funds to construct infrastructure and landscaping improvements adjacent to the viaduct to improve connectivity, safety, and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.