The city of Los Angeles is in the midst of a design competition for a project to rebuild the fetching Sixth Street Bridge that crosses the Los Angeles River between the Downtown Arts District and the historic Boyle Heights neighborhoods at the eastern end of the city. The city’s Bureau of Engineering has selected three finalists, AECOM, HNTB, and Parsons Brinckerhoff, for the final round of reviews, and is expected to select a firm in October. The bridge is one of Los Angeles' most recognizable historic structures, having served as a symbol of the neighborhoods east of Downtown Los Angeles in innumerable film productions. Preservation groups fought for years to save the bridge, but the concrete cancer (“Alkali-Silica Reaction”) eroding the structure left no options but to rebuild.
The city has requested competition finalists to prepare a cable-stayed bridge of contemporary design to create an “icon” for the city. The new bridge’s aesthetics will be crafted amidst a daunting collection of more utilitarian, infrastructure concerns—rail right of way, the river’s complicated web of regulatory and stakeholder interests, and a stretch of overhead high voltage lines all interect the roadway’s path. Also, contemporary road construction codes requires the new bridge to straighten out a kink in the old bridge’s alignment.
The competition finalists and the city are hosting a series of community outreach meetings during the month of September. Visit the city's project website for more information.