The long awaited $588 million 6th street viaduct opened on Sunday to vehicular traffic capping off a weekend of celebrations and ceremony. Thousands of pedestrians, bicyclists, roller skaters, skateboarders and others christened the viaduct before the first cars took to the streets officially opening the bridge for business.
The instantly iconic bridge is six years in the making after pandemic and ecological pauses that put construction 3 years behind schedule.
“The Sixth Street Viaduct isn’t just a connection between our communities – it’s a new landmark that represents the tenacity, beauty, and promise that defines Los Angeles,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a news release. “I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with my fellow Angelenos who have been waiting for this day for six years and are ready to experience the benefits of this historic project.
The viaduct is now the largest and most expensive bridge the city has ever built. It connects downtown Los Angeles to Boyle Heights and the Eastside and replaces a Depression-era bridge that was demolished in 2016 because it was deteriorating.
The new bridge had to be impressive as the beloved 6th street bridge was an iconic landmark that appeared in many Hollywood movies such as Grease, Terminator 2 and Repo Man.
Garcetti recognizes that the bridge has big shoes to fill and believes that the new bridge will surpass the standards of its predecessor. “This will be in many ways what everybody sees in 2028 when they come to the Olympics,” Garcetti said. “I am sure it will be part of the torch relay when the Olympics come. We should put everything on here.”