Los Angeles

$442M Makeover for LA's “Fatally Damaged” Sixth Street Bridge Gets Underway

A $442 million project is underway to replace a famous but earthquake-prone bridge near downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

The existing Sixth Street Viaduct, perhaps most recognizable from a climactic race in "Grease,"  will be replaced with "a state of the art iconic bridge" as part of the Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project, according to the project’s Facebook page.

"Unfortunately, this iconic Sixth Street Bridge is fatally damaged," LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said when he broke ground on the new project Friday, Feb. 20.

The viaduct linking the LA Arts District and Boyle Heights is in need of replacement because it can’t withstand a major earthquake, officials said. It's one of 14 historic Los Angeles River crossing structures, according to the website.

Garcetti called the current bridge, which has stood since 1932, "an architectural marvel and a testament to the vision and determination of this city," but he said the project is a chance "to build a modern landmark" that can better handle the area's traffic needs.

The new viaduct will include features such as wider sidewalks, river access and roadway shoulders, according to the website. Designed by architect Michael Maltzan, the bridge is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

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