Credit Aurelia Ventura/ La Opinion

Work has begun on the replacement of the city’s Sixth Street Bridge, and in anticipation of its upcoming closure and demolition, councilmember José Huízar is throwing a party for the beloved iconic structure.

A farewell concert and festival in honor of the viaduct –as it is officially known– will take place this Saturday, October 24, from 2 to 10 p.m. The free event will feature performances by War, Aloe Blacc, Graciela Beltran, Angela & Leonardo Aguilar, Bullet & Snowfox, Buyepongo, The Cold & Lovely and DJ Crew Subsuelo. There will also be art exhibits, food trucks, kid activities and fireworks.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP on the 6th Street Farewell Festival Facebook page.

The Sixth Street Viaduct, built in 1932, is one of several bridges that cross the Los Angeles River and connect downtown Los Angeles with Boyle Heights and other Eastside communities. Alas, it is the only of the bridges threatened by slowly crumbling columns, due to a chemical reaction in the cement, and the city has decided it must be replaced.

A new bridge, designed by architect Michael Maltzan, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018 and the public space beneath it in 2019.. The $420 million construction is said to be the largest bridge project in Los Angeles history.

Crews have been working on a series of intersection improvements –mostly on Central Avenue and Whittier Boulevard– in anticipation of the bridge’s closure. Improvements are meant to help the flow of traffic to be diverted to nearby bridges on Seventh and Fourth Streets.

The bridge–whose double arches have been seen in multiple films, TV shows and music videos– is tentatively scheduled to close on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, with demolition to start on Friday, January 8, 2016.

The city is providing regular construction updates on its website.  

This post was edited to update bridge closing date.

Photo above: the columns of the Sixth Street Viaduct are slowly crumbling, due to a chemical reaction. Photo by Aurelia Ventura/La Opinión.

Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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