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6TH STREET VIADUCT
Posted: December 22, 2022
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
by Ted Stimpfel
This week, I drove to L.A. to attend a friend's
swearing-in ceremony. While leaving the downtown area on the
101 southbound, I exited to drive to the new 6th Street Viaduct.
Having seen the structure many times
in televised news reports, I admit to having felt mediocre
about the bridge's design. The flowing ribbon of repeated arches
has looked too many, too heavy and bulky. Simply too dominant
Now seeing it live from a distance as it crosses the
Los Angeles River channel and adjacent rail tracks, it truly does stand
out as a massive dominant structure. But the design does work.
With mid-day traffic heavy in the area, and due to
the scenes that I have seen in the media, I expected the bridge to be
congested. So when entering the bridge from the east side,
I was astounded to find the bridge nearly empty.
I have crossed most of California's major bridges,
but the 6th Street Viaduct was like crossing within a piece of artwork.
The roadbed's curvature and flowing arches all work
together to make a fun traveling experience. The bridge's
length also seemed much longer than I remember the previous bridge.
Having crossed the bridge, I did a U-turn and again
crossed it. The only other vehicle going in my direction was
a motorcyclist who passed me doing a one-wheelie across the entire
length of the bridge's span. A long amazing eyeful.
The bridge's downtown 6th Street quickly becomes
Whittier Boulevard on the east side of the bridge. Whittier
Boulevard through East L.A. is an interesting drive in itself.
Traveling Southern California extensively, I find
the diversification of the state's people and sites fascinating.
Bridge design can be a positive visual asset to
a city's infrastructure, not just a means of vehicle conveyance.
Reflecting upon Barstow's selected design for the
First Street bridge replacement, Barstow has much to learn from Los