Boyle Heights

New 6th Street Viaduct Bridge Opens for Two-Day Celebration

The original viaduct was first built in 1932 and was featured in several iconic films such as "Grease," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and "Drive."

NBC Universal, Inc.

The new 6th Street Viaduct bridge is opening to the public after more than six years of construction, for a two-day celebration this weekend.

The original viaduct was first built in 1932 and was featured in several iconic films such as "Grease," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" and "Drive."

The $588 million revamp project is the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles, and will connect commuters from Boyle Heights to downtown LA's Arts District.

The Los Angeles community is invited to come out on Saturday for the grand opening to enjoy live music and see what will be known as the "Bridge of the Ribbon of Light" before it officially opens to traffic.

On Sunday, the viaduct will open to bikes and pedestrians at 11 a.m., and will close at 4 p.m., before opening to cars at 7 p.m.

The original Sixth Street Viaduct was a Los Angeles landmark seen in films and television shows, but fell victim to deterioration blamed on an alkali-silica chemical reaction that caused an expansion and cracking of the concrete over time. Seismically speaking, it wasn't up to the task anymore.

Demolition work on the original structure began in 2016. The original end-date was projected to be 2019, but that was soon pushed back to late 2020. Additional construction delays ensued during the pandemic.

The city's Bureau of Engineering plans to create a 12-acre park under the bridge to provide access to the L.A. River, public art, recreational programming and more.

The downtown side of the park will include a rain garden, planted seating area, a play and performance lawn, a sculpture garden, a meadow, a dog play area, an adult fitness section, cafe and restrooms, a sloped river gateway, an urban forest and terraces.

The Boyle Heights side will feature a skateboard area; a meadow; a picnic area; a synthetic turf soccer field; flexible courts sized for basketball, futsal and volleyball; a play and performance lawn; a children's play area; a promenade; a landscaped seating area; an adult fitness area; a rain garden; a dog play area and grilling spaces.

Prior to the celebration, LA city leaders including Mayor Eric Garcetti will gather on the bridge on Friday to celebrate the project's completion.

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