sixth street bridge
sixth street bridge

Rendering courtesy of Council District 14

A team of designers led by a Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural firm has won the competition to redesign and rebuild the Sixth Street Bridge over the Los Angeles River between Boyle Heights and downtown Los Angeles.

HNTB, and local firms Michael Maltzan Architecture and AC Martin Partners, had the winning design with a futuristic and cable-supported structure. The design features a series of arches that will include a pedestrian pathway above the river.

The $401 million project, financed largely by the Federal Highway Bridge Program, will create nearly 5,000 jobs, city officials say. Pending approval from the Board of Public Works and the L.A. City Council, bridge construction is expected to begin in 2015. The structure is expected to open in 2019.

Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents Boyle Heights, said in a statement that the new bridge “honors the history of the original while boldly looking towards the future.”

Huizar said he hopes the new bridge will encourage biking and walking and that the new community gathering spaces will benefit the community.

In April, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Huizar announced an international design competition for the bridge. The final three design proposals by AECOM, HNTB and Parsons Brinkcerhoff were presented at public presentations in September.

The winning design was chosen by a panel of members from the Bureau of Engineering and CalTrans, with support from the Design Aesthetic Advisory Committee, which consists of professionals, residents, urban planners and river advocates.

The original bridge, built in 1932, was made with rocks containing silica, which can produce a gel that expands and cracks concrete. Engineers have said the double arches of the 80-year-old bridge could crumble in an earthquake.

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