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New 6th Street viaduct bridge opens to public this weekend

City officials celebrate opening of 6th Street Bridge
City officials celebrate opening of 6th Street Bridge 03:23

After years of construction, the new 6th Street viaduct bridge, the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles, is just days away from opening to the public. 


The 3,500 foot bridge spans the LA River and the 101 Freeway, and it will connect Historic Boyle Heights on the east side with the Downtown Arts District on the west. The project came at a cost of $588 million. 

Architect Michael Maltzan is behind the bridge's design. 

"It's unbelievably exciting moment," Maltzan said. "The vision of the bridge was to make a structure that went beyond simply taking cars from one side to the other." 

Footage from Drone2 shows the incredible views of the city skyline for travelers moving along the bridge. The bridge design itself also pays homage to the 1932 bridge that was demolished in 2016, which had two pairs of iconic arches over the LA River and appeared in countless shows, music videos and films, like "Grease." 

"One of the goals of the city was to replace the existing 6th Street Bridge, which was a backdrop for any number of films and commercials with another important, iconic background," Maltzan said. 

Unlike the old bridge, the new 6th Street Bridge is earthquake ready. 

"The bridge, in a major earthquake, will move 30 inches any directions laterally," the architect said. 

Maltzan also said he has big dreams for the viaduct that connects Boyle Heights on the east with the Arts District on the west.

"Since the announcement that Los Angeles was getting the Olympics, I hope the torch runs across the bridge," he said. 

Pedestrians and bicyclists can come down the ramp to the 12-acre public park. 

"What better place to have a party," Maltzan said. "Families used to pile into their cars and just go for a drive to see the city. I think the 6th Street bridge is going to be a part of that kind of itinerary." 

The sold out celebration of the bridge is happening this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, with 15,000 people expected to be on the bridge in downtown LA. 

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