The Bridges of Los Angeles County
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Main Street Bridge

Main Street Bridge 1910

Upon its completion in March, the Main Street Bridge is used by all sorts of vehicles including street cars. It is one of the first open-spandrel, 3-hinged concrete bridge to be built in the western United States.

Broadway
The North Broadway Viaduct 1911

The North Broadway Viaduct is completed in 1911. In 1926, upon the suggestion of Mrs. ASC Forbes this viaduct is dedicated to John C. Fremont--instigator of the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846 and to whom Mexican forces surrender at the close of the Mexican American War in 1947. In 1941 police find a 15' piece of concrete ornamentation and car's bumper in the riverbed. By 1949 parts of the concrete structure can be pulled apart with one's bare hands and must undergo renovations.

Olympic
Olympic Boulevard Viaduct 1925

The Ninth Street Bridge links East and West Los Angeles to much fanfare on September 25, 1925. Ninth Street is renamed Olympic Boulevard in honor of the 1932 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles.

Cesar Chavez
Cesar Chavez Avenue Viaduct 1926

The Cesar Chavez - Macy Street Bridge is first proposed in 1913 by the City Engineer to the Board of Public Works, who recommends his plan despite the construction's damage to Stern's Winery and the Agricultural Chemical Works. The Bridge is designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style as it is located on the original El Camino Real. The Bridge is originally dedicated to mission founder Father Junipero Serra and it is originally called the Macy Street Bridge. It is renamed in honor of Cesar Chavez--co-leader of the United Farm Workers and Mexican American activist who used nonviolent means to reach his goals.

Franklin Avenue Bridge

Franklin Avenue Bridge 1926

This bridge is also affectionately known as the "Shakespeare Bridge" and though beloved today, the bridge was vigorously opposed by the Los Feliz Improvement Association in 1924.
Fletcher
Fletcher Avenue Bridge 1927

The Fletcher Avenue Bridge is paid for through a bond motion put on the 1924 ballot. In 1926, before its completion in 1927, the Fletcher Street Bridge is slated to be dedicated to the "Empire Builder" known as Jedediah Smith, who crosses the American continent from New Hampshire by way of Salt Lake City, to Southern California. Smith is born in 1798 and works as a fur trader. His arrow-riddled body is discovered in the desert in 1831.

7th
Seventh Street Viaduct 1927

The cost of building the 7th Street Viaduct is shared with the Los Angeles Railway Company, who operate the trolley system that uses the thoroughfare for its trolleys. The 7th Street Viaduct is initially built in 1910 but undergoes vast improvements. In 1923 traffic on the bridge is so congested that it is estimated that 10,000 vehicles cross it daily and the crossing gates are down for 9 minutes each hour for the trolleys to pass.

Spring

Spring Street Viaduct 1928

Upon reaching this area in 1769 Gaspar de Portala describes it as: "a lush spot with tall trees, abundant water and plentiful game." In short, the perfect place to build a pueblo for Spain's colony. The Spring Street Viaduct is built in 1928 and becomes a bypass route acrosss the Los Angeles River for commercial traffic traveling on Santa Fe and Alameda Streets. Today, Farmlab and the Metabolic Studio under the Spring Street Bridge provide creative and provocative talks by artists and researchers interested in land use issues.

First

1st Street Viaduct 1929

Prior to this 1929 bridge, there is a bridge from the 19th century that serves traffic. When the original bridge is completed in 1888, Boyle Heights residents complain that the bridge brings too much unnecessary traffic. The bridge is completed in 1929 and designed in a Neo-Classical style. It is dedicated to Spanish Governor Felipe de Neve, planner of the pueblo of Los Angeles--which is founded in 1781.
Glendale Hyperion
Glendale - Hyperion Viaduct 1929

Upon its completion in 1929, the Glendal-Hyperion Viaduct solves traffic congestion on the main artery between the City of Los Angeles and Glendale. Its style is described as Streamline Moderne. The Viaduct includes the construction of a viaduct across the river, two smaller viaducts connecting adjoining streets, a Pacific Electric Railway underpass and a street grade separation.

Fourth

Fourth Street Viaduct 1930

The Fourth Street Viaduct is built in 1930 and is noted for its catenary arch, reinforced concrete and complex grade separation. In 1981 an alleged hit and run driver flees his car on the bridge and attempts to escape by jumping from the bridge 75 feet below. He survives with multiple fractures.
Washington
Washington Boulevard Bridge 1931

The Bridge is completed in 1931. When building begins on the bridge in 1930, the President of the Washington Bridge Association remarks: "Completion of the bridge will give the East Side Territory a new wide route to the beaches and will aid greatly in relieving traffic conditions."

Sixth

Sixth Street Viaduct 1932

The Sixth Street Viaduct is vastly expanded in 1932 in part to make a direct connection from Whittier Boulevard to Boyle Avenue, from Stephenson Avenue--to the viaduct. The viaduct is 3630 feet in length and one of the longest of the LA bridges. It is a site of at least two suicides throughout the 1930s.

Silverlake/Sunset

Sunset Street Bridge over Silverlake 1934

This bridge opens for traffic on March 20,1934. The bridge is 136 feet long with a single span of 62 feet. The roadway is seventy feet in width with two ten foot sidewalks.