May 2019

Capturing the Viaduct One Frame at a Time

Many people in Los Angeles follow the progress of City construction projects. Some do it as they snake past traffic cones and construction equipment on their way to work, as we upgrade city streets and sidewalks. Others wait for construction fencing to come down around an eagerly-awaited park, like our recently-completed Albion Riverside Park in Lincoln Heights. But for some projects, like the iconic Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, the construction process itself is worth watching. And for some people, it's worth capturing in photos. 

If you search the internet for "Sixth Street Viaduct", you will find thousands of photos on social media, photo blogs and websites, and more. But probably no one has spent more time on site capturing both the dramatic and the more mundane moments, than local photographer Gary Leonard.

Born in Los Angeles, Gary began taking photos of Dodger games when he was just nine years old, pictures he still has to this day. He went on to become a professional photographer and has chronicled everything from political campaigns to the punk rock scene for a variety of local publications. In recent years, Gary has been photographing the many construction projects around Los Angeles, capturing the constant motion and change of the structures and the people working on them. 

Gary has been photographing the Sixth Street Viaduct project for us since we demolished the old bridge in 2016 and continues to this days, as we watch the new structure come to life. He coordinates with our on-site team and has provided some of the most vivid and interesting photos we have of the construction process. 

If you follow the project on the Bureau of Engineering's social media pages, you've seen a lot of his photos. Thank you Gary for everything you do to help us document this amazing project!


About the Project

Stay Involved!

The Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project is a new, 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, along with stairway access and bike ramps connecting to 12 acres of recreational and open space under the bridge. The $482 million dollar project is the largest bridge project in the history of the city. The bridge is funded primarily through the Federal Highway Administration, with additional City support. The viaduct is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

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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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