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The new L.A. River bridge connecting Frogtown and Glassell Park is reportedly slated to make its debut in June after two years of construction. SPF:architects announced that work on the orange-colored, 400-foot-long Taylor Yard bridge project is now 75% complete.
Founder and design principal Zoltan Pali of SPF:architects said via a press release: “Bridges are special; they are so utilitarian by purpose but offer so much magic to the imagination. They are impossible to resist. I hope that this gem of a project will realize my goal of evoking the community spirit of togetherness.”
The design of the bridge will accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists alike, and was inspired by the railroad bridges that once spanned the Los Angeles River during the community’s days as an industrial hub. The pathway that cuts through the center of the bridge is intended to look as if it is floating above the structure’s lightweight steel frame. The structure will be 30 feet high by 27 feet wide and the width of the actual pedestrian and bikeway path will be approximately 18 feet. Safety measures reportedly include signs, striping, ramps, and barricades to help direct and protect the motorist, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Also, air monitoring and dust control programs will be implemented during excavation activities.
As part of the Los Angeles River restoration project — a plan adopted by the City Council in 2007— the $20.6-million bridge will eventually feed into the Taylor Yard’s G2 Park and the Taylor Yard Transit Village.
But this isn’t the only bridge project the city has taken on. Los Angeles recently built two additional river crossings in the Atwater Village community, and a fourth project is planned by the City of Glendale near Griffith Park.
Moreover, and most notably, after a decade of effort, the eight months-long construction of the pedestrian bridge over La Cienega Boulevard is now open. The 13 mile bridge dubbed “Park to Playa Trail” connects Kenneth Hahn State Park to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, directly connecting the heart of Los Angeles to the beach.
Multiuse bridges that connect different locations in a highly congested city is a great achievement for a city infamous for its pedestrian accidents. Los Angeles is the top worst city for pedestrian deaths in the country. Over 65% of all severe and fatal traffic collisions involving people walking occur on just 6% of our city streets, and it’s known as the High-Injury Network. Of the 86 traffic collision deaths in Los Angeles by May 2020, 50 victims — nearly 60% — were pedestrians killed by drivers.