Architecture

New Sixth Street Viaduct will form a "Ribbon of Light" across LA

New Sixth Street Viaduct will ...
The new design for the Sixth Street Viaduct features ten pairs of white concrete arches
The new design for the Sixth Street Viaduct features ten pairs of white concrete arches
View 6 Images
The new design for the Sixth Street Viaduct features ten pairs of white concrete arches
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The new design for the Sixth Street Viaduct features ten pairs of white concrete arches
The arches will be varying heights and angled outward nine degrees
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The arches will be varying heights and angled outward nine degrees
Large open areas will be created below the bridge, which will be made into recreational green spaces
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Large open areas will be created below the bridge, which will be made into recreational green spaces
The new bridge will boast wider sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ramps on either side
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The new bridge will boast wider sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ramps on either side
The deck of the new bridge will be cradled between the pairs of arches and supported by cables
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The deck of the new bridge will be cradled between the pairs of arches and supported by cables
The new bridge is designed by HNTB and Michael Maltzan Architecture
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The new bridge is designed by HNTB and Michael Maltzan Architecture
View gallery - 6 images

The demolition of what's said to be one of America's most famous and iconic bridges is to begin this weekend. Los Angeles' Sixth Street Viaduct is being replaced due to structural problems. The design of the new bridge, dubbed the "Ribbon of Light," pays tribute to the original.

The Sixth Street Viaduct was built in 1932. Spanning nearly 3,500 ft (1,067 m), it connects the Arts District on the west side of the Los Angeles River with Boyle Heights on the east side. According to the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project (SSVRP), however, the structure began deteriorating just 20 years after its construction as a result of a chemical reaction in the cement known as Alkali Silica Reaction.

Various restorative methods are said to have been tried over the years without success. As a result, the bridge's lack of structural strength, coupled with a high vulnerability to failure in the event of a major earthquake, led to the decision to rebuild it. The US$449 million project is said to be LA's biggest ever bridge project.

The new bridge will boast wider sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ramps on either side
The new bridge will boast wider sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ramps on either side

In 2012, an international design competition was run to select a design for the new bridge. The four-month process saw a design by HNTB and Michael Maltzan Architecture chosen. It features ten pairs of white concrete arches with varying heights and angled outward nine degrees, which the SSVRP says is an industry first. The deck of the bridge is cradled between the pairs of arches and supported by cables.

The new Sixth Street Viaduct will boast wider sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes and dedicated pedestrian and bicycle ramps on either side. Large open areas will be created below the bridge, which will be made into recreational green spaces and a new rail station nearby has also been proposed.

The new Sixth Street Viaduct is expected to be completed by 2019 and to be in use for 100 years.

The video below provides an insight into the project.

Sources: Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, HNTB, Michael Maltzan Architecture

The Making of a Bridge: Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project

View gallery - 6 images
8 comments
oldguy
Where we gonna shoot car commercials now?
piperTom
Sure, it's pretty. Let's do some math. Projected price is $450M; with the usual cost overruns, it's easily a billion. And it's expected to last 100 years? That comes to $27,400 per day. Per DAY!
If 500 people use it on the average day, their share is $54.80. Would you pay $54 to cross that space?
Colin Fox
Even at $500mill it still comes out to $570 an hour.
Paul Anthony
"So this bridge here is sick...we assembled an international team of experts to make sure we couldn't repair this bridge." -Gary Lee Mo0re, City Engineer His own words.
I would like to request that they make a riverwalk, and bicicle path along the river, try and create pools to fill up the river bed, allow greenery to grow and replace this concrete wash that they call a river.
Deres
I am suprised that they do not want to put some noise protection walls around the vehicles lanes. In fact, the pedestrian and bycicle lanes will be very noisy being just on the flank of an highway. It will be the same for the small park under the bridge.
POOL PUMPREAPAIR guy longwood
Just build a bridge, no artsy fartsy crap please. and use stainless steel hardware, that's the reason the current bridge is failing, the steel rusts and breaks the concrete. $1 says they plan to use steel rebar in this new bridge. built to fail.
Derek Howe
wow, lot of negative comments. I think the bridge looks really nice. It may be a bit overprice, but it's going to be a bigger landmark then the current one, so...I guess what I'm saying is, you get what you pay for.
California is good at spending money they don't have though, that's my only issue with it, but again, I think it looks very nice.
vblancer
Paul Anthony have you ever seen that part of the river at full flow? What you propose is impossible!! I have seen that river flow up to less than ten ft from the top of the banks" during El Ninos and almost as full other times. Further upstream maybe but not that far. It is a wild thing to see when that thing really flows.