Los Angeles

6th St. Bridge: Free Farewell Fest

Fans will bid the historic span goodbye ahead of its demolishing.

Never pit a street aficionado against a boulevard buff against a person who loves a good bridge. All of these byways help to comprise a city's visual identity, though, in truth, only one of the three tends to make the postcards, the t-shirts, the tourist brochures, and, occasionally, a tattoo or two.

Think of the Golden Gate Bridge, or Portland's St. Johns Bridge, or the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which all have their fervent fandoms. And look to the beautiful 6th St. Bridge, a Los Angeles landmark that's been in the headlines due to the viaduct's bridge deteriorating state.

It's something that many people have tried to remedy over many years, but the fact of the matter is the 83-year-old span, which is a main ribbon running between Boyle Heights and downtown, must come down. Why? The "alkali-silica reaction" in the materials used to build the bridge "threatens the long-term integrity."

Before a "new iconic bridge" begins to slowly appear in the months/years to come, an epic work designed by architect Michael Maltzan, fans of the still-elegant extension will gather to honor the historic structure. The 6th St. Bridge Farewell Festival, a free celebration, welcomes everyone who has doted upon the bridge, seen it every day, and considered it an important visual centerpoint of the area.

The date is Saturday, Oct. 24 and the host? Why that's Councilmember José Huizar. 

A concert headlined by War, food trucks, and murals made on the spot are part of the afternoon-into-evening events. Many a selfie will surely be snapped, too, of bridge and bridge buffs, together.

Fireworks over the bridge are on the schedule as the capper of the night, so the cameras will likely remain out and at the ready.

Since bridges deal with cars and transportation and Point-A-to-Point-B matters, this should matter to all attendees: Parking will be challenging, say the event organizers, so plan ahead.

It rather makes sense that people attach so firmly to bridges in the way they do, given what bridges represent. Sure, like streets, they help us get to someplace different, but that they do so over air, and not ground, lend many a bridge a dash of art and beauty and fantasy, especially those spans that boast a design for the ages.

The 6th St. Bridge has such a design, but it is a design that will ultimately have to remain in the memories, snapshots, and the hearts of the Angelenos who used or saw it regularly, and loved it, too.

Love on it soon, though; the demolishing of the bridge kicks off a few days into 2016.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
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