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$62M Los Angeles Bridge Project Moves Forward

Friday, February 23, 2018

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Two and a half years after the Los Angeles City Council approved the costly overhaul of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, officials held a meeting Thursday (Feb. 22) to update the public on the project’s status and review other planned work.

As part of a move to bring the 90-year-old span up to contemporary seismic and highway-safety standards, the City Council voted in 2015 to add two bike lanes to the bridge while retaining the four lanes for motor vehicle traffic and getting rid of one of the pedestrian sidewalks.

Bridge Overhaul History

The reason to nix one of the sidewalks? The bridge was not wide enough to safely accommodate all the additions, according to engineers.

Laurie Avocado, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two and a half years after the Los Angeles City Council approved the costly overhaul of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, officials held a meeting Thursday (Feb. 22) to update the public on the project’s status and review other planned work.

Both cycling and pedestrian advocates had been pushing to eliminate one of the roads to create enough space for preserving the two sidewalks and the two new bike lanes. Business owners and residents expressed concerns over the increase in traffic that would be brought about by the road diet, with city engineers also noting that the current amount of pedestrian foot traffic did not warrant preserving both sidewalks at the cost of a lane for automotive traffic.

Officials also indicated that the sidewalks currently in place do not meet the standards set by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The overhaul project is to be financed by state and federal funds, and is intended to strengthen the several spans and structures that comprise the bridge, as well as improve traffic circulation and restore the structure’s historic character. According to The Eastsider LA, as part of the project, a new pedestrian-bike crossing will be built next to the bridge.

Project cost was estimated at $50 million in 2015, but has since grown to $62 million.

Thursday Meeting

Even though controversy has remained over the City Council rejecting the road diet part of the proposal, construction has been approved on the bike and pedestrian traffic-only span that would be built downriver from the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.

The meeting held Thursday was geared toward reviewing design concepts for the separate span and providing updates on the bridge proper.

Bridge History

According to KCET, the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge was completed in 1929. In 1976, the span was declared a "Historic-Cultural Monument #164 of the City of Los Angeles." The bridge is one of 12 historic spans over the Los Angeles River that were determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge was designed to solve an issue of traffic congestion while also improving the main traffic artery between the City of Los Angeles and Glendale.

In all, construction included a viaduct across the river, two smaller viaducts connecting an adjoining street, a Pacific Electric Railway underpass and a street grade separation that provided a connection to Hyperion Avenue as part of a thoroughfare that bypassed downtown.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Government; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Urban Planning

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