August 2021

Bureau of Contract Administration's Todd Eller

There are many City departments supporting the work of the Bureau of Engineering in the construction of the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. One of the most critical is the Bureau of Contract Administration (BCA), which is part of the City’s Department of Public Works. BCA‘s role in the City is to maintain a transparent and consistent contracting environment that delivers quality work in compliance with governing laws. This means BCA employees work side by side with Engineering as we deliver the project safely and fairly and to the highest standards.

BCA’s Todd Eller is the Senior Public Works Inspector for the City of Los Angeles and he’s in charge of the team responsible for inspecting the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project. Eller has been working for the City for 14 years, and has worked in construction for the last 40 years, after a few years serving in the U.S. Army.

The job for Eller and his team is to make sure the bridge is built according to the engineering specifications and that best industry practices are utilized by everyone involved. He leads a team of ten inspectors who are onsite at all times, day and night. The number one concern is safety — for the traveling public, and for the employees working on the project.

Eller says the most unique aspect of this project is the pure complexity of it. “It's huge,” he says. “It will be a long time before another City project comes close to this,” he adds. In addition to inspecting the work on the bridge, Eller and his team must create the documentation that is legally required by the City to track all progress. It’s a lot of paperwork; over 5500 pages a year. Eller’s job is not just confined to operational and safety inspections. He’s also responsible for financial approvals, which ensures that the City is paying for work deemed complete.

A day in the life of Todd Eller includes making sure his team is working their proper assignments. With 167 employees onsite everyday, and ten inspectors to check on their work, Eller has to keep an eye on the whole picture and watch out for any possible problems. And so far, they have done a great job with no serious injuries on the job site. Eller says the new bridge should last for generations, and he’s got the documentation to prove it!

About the Project

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The City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering is leading the construction of the new, $588 million Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles. The completed structure will be a 3,500-foot long viaduct connecting Boyle Heights and the Arts District across the Los Angeles River. The original viaduct was built in 1932, but had significantly deteriorated due to "concrete cancer"; it was demolished in 2016. The new viaduct will have ten pairs of lit arches, bike lanes and wider sidewalks. When the viaduct is completed, work will begin on the Sixth Street PARC, 12 acres of recreational and open space under the bridge. The bridge is funded primarily through the Federal Highway Administration, with additional City support. The viaduct will be completed in Summer 2022.

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The Bureau of Engineering is the City's lead agency for the planning, design and construction management of the City's public buildings and its public infrastructure. Engineering is also responsible for managing permitting for all construction that takes place in the public right-of-way, as well as managing the City's state-of-the-art online mapping system, NavigateLA. Engineering is committed to designing and building environmentally-sustainable projects that include extensive community input. Engineering projects and services support the City's goals of creating a prosperous, livable and safe city for all residents and businesses.

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