RFP Now Available for LA’s 6th Street Viaduct Design Competition

Image via bridgehunter.comLast week news broke of a design competition by the city of Los Angeles for a replacement for the 6th Street Viaduct that connects the Arts District with Boyle Heights on the east side of Downtown Los Angeles. The current 6th Street Viaduct, the most recognizable of the bridges that crosses the LA River, is a 3,500-foot art deco throwback that has been well documented in films, television, and commercials since it was constructed in 1932.  A type of “concrete cancer,” however, is destroying the bridge slowly from the inside out, necessitating a replacement rather than a renovation. Both the Design and Architecture show on KCRW and the Architect’s Newspaper provided full coverage of the competition, the announcement of which came as a happy surprise to architecture and bridge enthusiasts who lamented the utilitarian designs featured in the city’s earlier plans. The city has $401 million for a replacement bridge, with $50,000 available to competition finalists. The city has also announced that it intends for the design of the bridge to be a modern cable-stayed design.

According to the RFQ/RQP released on April 25, the design competition will occur in three stages, with an anticipated timeline of seven to eight weeks for project finalists to produce design proposals. The RFQ/P makes it clear that the design should be a “signature bridge” and allows a little room for flexibility within the cable-stayed format: “The aesthetics and number of towers for the new Viaduct is not fixed by the FEIR/FEIS.” The entire project is expected to take seven years.

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