Say Goodbye to the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge

September 23, 2011 § 59 Comments

Riverside Drive Bridge 1926-2011 - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

It’s not the greatest of the Los Angeles River’s historic bridges. The L-shaped Riverside Drive Bridge that connects Elysian Valley with Cypress Park is one of at least five Riverside Drive Bridges in Los Angeles… so it’s commonly called the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge. It’s sort of a patchwork bridge, with parts from 1928-1929, 1930s and 1950s. And it’s going to be demolished… very soon.

Signage on North Figueroa near San Fernando Road - photo by Joe Linton, uncredited photos below also by author

I knew it was coming, but just this week I spotted signs saying “BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION AUG 2011 to DEC 2015 – INFORMATION 213-978-0333. A bit further on, there were construction trucks parked on the bridge and some construction workers huddled, discussing and pointing.

At this point I feel sad for this nice old bridge… so I am going to try to faithfully record its history here. Then perhaps in a future post, I will explain some of the features of the new bridge replacing it (you can get some sense for the new bridge from this earlier Confluence Park diagram.)

I am disappointed to see it go. It’s a designated L.A. City Historic Cultural Landmark (No. 908), but, it’s one of the lesser historic bridges, so, at this point, I am pretty much resigned to see it go. There are much better bridges under great threat of demolition, including 6th Street and North Spring Street, and the city of Los Angeles’ bridge program has others on its lists (for example.) 

A huge thanks to my photographer friend Osceola Refetoff, who, at my urging, has done quite a bit of photo-documentation of this bridge… even though he didn’t find it all that photogenic. I told him to get the photos now, because the bridge wouldn’t be around much longer.

Riverside Drive Bridge, viewed from inside the Los Angeles River - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

The Riverside Drive Bridge is actually a couple of bridges. First there’s a span over the L.A. River. Second there’s what’s called a “sidehill viaduct” – which runs parallel to the river on the west bank – the downstream tip of Elysian Valley. Also, in a sense, there’s a third bridge which is the approach ramp from the east, which extends over Avenue 19.

If the bridge is demolished this year, it will be the third time it’s been demolished in 85 years. An early bridge at this site, called the Dayton Avenue Bridge was built in 1903, and was demolished in 1927. Dayton Avenue was later re-named North Figueroa Street.

June 17th 1927 L.A. Times photo of the 1903 Dayton Avenue Bridge being demolished

The first modern concrete bridge at the site began construction in 1927 and was completed in 1928. Here’s a photo of Dayton Avenue Bridge, nearing completion:

Dayton Avenue Bridge, 24 January 1928 photo - from Los Angeles City Archives. View from Frogtown downstream, Elysian Park on the right.

And here it is completed:

Dayton Avenue Bridge spanning the Los Angeles River, 1 March 1928 photo from Los Angeles City Archives. View from riverbed looking upstream, Elysian Park on the left.

A November 23rd, 1927, L.A. Times article related that local merchants were unhappy with the nearly-complete bridge because “no provision has been made for traffic at the west approach.” The Riverside Drive approach, really a connected second bridge – that sidehill viaduct I mentioned was constructed in 1929. The sidehill viaduct combines with the river span to form the basic L-shape that’s present as I write this.

Here’s a photo of the completed project, then called the Riverside Drive-Dayton Avenue Bridge.

Riverside Drive Dayton Avenue Bridge, photo from a 1930 Los Angeles City Cultural Heritage Commission report. View is from Taylor Yard downstream. Los Angeles River is in the foreground, Elysian Park in the background.

I think that the 1929 bridge was very handsome. From there it begins to go downhill.

In November 1937, a 1,500,000-ton landslide slams down from the Elysian Park hillside on the Riverside Drive sidehill viaduct.

Los Angeles Times's 28 November 1937 annotated photograph showing the "Ruin in the Wake of Elysian Park Avalanche." The L-shaped Riverside-Dayton Bridge is in the foreground.

The L.A. Times reports that the avalanche scene attracted more than 100,000 visitors per day, some of whom rode the train from the east coast to see the dramatic sight. The “Elysian Park slide” wrecks the sidehill portion of Riverside Drive in November 1937 and it takes city crews more than a year to clear and repair. Riverside Drive re-opens in February 1939.

In the intervening year, 1938, the city experiences hugely destructive flooding. Floods wash out the railroad bridge immediately downstream from Dayton Avenue. City leaders call in the federal Army Corps of Engineers to fix the flooding problem. They begin to line the river in concrete… and that nice ten-year-old Dayton Avenue Bridge is, well, in the way.

I confess that I don’t entirely understand the geometry here. The L.A. River-Arroyo Seco confluence area is described as “one of the most difficult bends in the river” (L.A. Times 10 December 1939.) The “new alignment” of the Dayton Avenue bridge is needed for straightening and reinforcing the river. As far as I can tell, the east (Cypress Park) approach remains intact, and the west (Elysian Park) approach moves downstream somewhat… but not that much… perhaps to create a shorter span across the river? Perhaps to move the east abutment further east?

Here’s a diagram from the Los Angeles Times article:

The Los Angeles Times 10 December 1939 diagram of the new Dayton Avenue Bridge. What's labeled the Figueroa Bridge would soon become the 110 Freeway.

To make way for the new bridge, the old one is demolished on May 25th, 1939.

Demolition of the Dayton Avenue Bridge. 25 May 1939 photo from the Los Angeles City Archives. The photo is taken just as the arch has fallen; dust rises from the span as it hits the ground. The photo's caption also notes "Erection of counterforted channel walls is seen in the upper left."

The new Riverside Drive bridge is built, by the Army Corps of Engineers. Though the deck of the bridge retains more-or-less the character of the earlier bridge, the graceful concrete arch below is replaced by a steel truss span.

Here’s the nearly completed bridge in an L.A. Times drawing by Charles H. Owens:

The new Dayton Avenue Bridge under construction. 10 December 1939 L.A. Times drawing by Charles H. Owens.

You may still be able to view those steel trusses today. Here’s a 2011 photograph from more-or-less the same angle as the 1939 illustration:

Riverside-Figueroa Bridge, photograph copyright Osceola Refetoff

And here’s a closer shot from inside the metal truss:

Riverside Figueroa Bridge 2011, photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

So, for us bridge geeks, it’s actually interesting to read the difference between the phases of construction.

There are places under the bridge where the arches of the 1929 viaduct are still intact:

Arches below the Elysian Valley end of the Riverside Figueroa Bridge, photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

And there are places in bridge deck and railing where the different eras are visible. Here’s a shot of the upstream sidewalk as it exists today, walking from Cypress to Elysian:

Riverside Drive Bridge with 1928-29 sidewalk on right, 1939 sidewalk on left

It’s a bit subtle, but on the left side, the sidewalk is a little darker than it is on the right. The sidewalk on right dates from 1928-1929. The sidewalk on the left dates from the late 1930s. The railing is slightly different, too. The line of the railing takes a jog in the middle of this photo, where the closest lamppost is. The foreground railing on the right dates from the 20s, beyond the lamppost the railing is from the 1939.

Riverside Drive Bridge crack where 20s railing meets 30s railing

Here’s a close-up of the jog in the middle of the prior picture.

On the right is the 1928-29 railing. On the left is the base of the lighting standard, which is the beginning of the 1939 railing.

In the middle of the photo is the crack where the two projects abut each other.

There are also somewhat subtle differences in the railing. It’s the same basic concrete railing, with a series of sort of elongated vertical rectangular holes, with half-circles at top and bottom.

Here’s a basic photo showing the pattern in the railing:

Pattern of the railing of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge. This photo is from the 1928 section, but the pattern is the same on the 1939 portion

In the midpoint between each lighting standard, there’s a center part where there are no holes. It’s visible in this broader photo:

Riverside Bridge deck and railing - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

Looking closer – the central portion of the 1920s sections are full-solid:

Riverside Drive Bridge 1920s railing solid central area

and the later center sections have a gap:

Riverside Drive Bridge 1939 railing center area with gap

I don’t know why these differ, and it’s probably not terribly important. Perhaps the earlier version is too rigid, less structurally sound? I think that the earlier design is a bit nicer, visually. To me, and I am a bridge nerd, it’s just interesting to read the subtle differences.

And lastly for reading bridges: reading the sidewalk. Here’s a close-up of a panel of the upstream sidewalk near San Fernando Road:

Riverside Drive Bridge sidewalk close-up

Most L.A. bridges dating from the 1910s-1930s have good-sized commemorative plaques. The plaque includes the date, elected officials, engineers, and more.

The year 1953 stamped in the curb-gutter of the 7th Street Bridge over the 110 Freeway

(Over time the plaques decrease in size. By the late 40s to early 1950s – the “freeway era” – the plaque disappears entirely. It’s briefly replaced by the year the bridge was built being stamped into the curb, along the gutter. Initially the year stamps are deep, they become shallower, then disappear all together. When bridges are designed for fast-moving car traffic, why bother with details that only pedestrians and cyclists will notice? Additionally, I think that this decline and disappearance is an indicator that the folks who design bridges have made them so functional and anonymous that there’s no longer much in the way of pride of workmanship… but that’s another story.)

Some older bridges, especially where railing has been damaged and removed, will be missing their plaque. It should come as no surprise that the 1928 or 1929 plaques are nowhere to be found on today’s Riverside Drive Bridge. When there’s no plaque to date a bridge, sometimes one can spot the construction date in the sidewalk. The Riverside Drive Bridge sidewalk (photo above), near San Fernando Road, clearly states “SOUTHWEST PAVING CO – LOS ANGELES – 1929.” This is just slightly problematic… because, from my explorations, I think that part of the bridge was built in 1928. Maybe when the new sidehill viaduct bridge was attached, they re-did the whole sidewalk? Maybe I’ve overlooked something in my amateur research.

So… go out and walk this bridge in the next few days… because it’ll be gone soon… and will take a few slices of river history with it.

(Updated 9/23/2011 2pm – fixed some things that were grammatically wrong and/or unclear. I left in the unexplained reference to the 1950’s when the connection between the 5 and the 110 freeways altered this bridge… not so much, though. I don’t have a lot of documentation on that… so just enjoy the vague allusion.)

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§ 59 Responses to Say Goodbye to the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge

  • The Militant caught a flat biking through this thing once! Good riddance!||

    (But srsly…does this new bridge mean they’re also going to accommodate an expanded River bike Path underneath it? If so, can’t wait!

  • Thank you so much for posting Joe. We spent many hours cleaning up under that bridge, trying to find a way around that bridge and working to get rid of that bridge. I really appreciate the epilogue.

    What a journey to a new structure. We worked on the idea of improving bike/ped access across that bridge since at least ’98, pushed the roundabout concept in ’03 and now it’ll be built in ’15.

  • There are some cool photos of this area (Or close to it) at the USC archives. Here’s a sample.

    http://tinyurl.com/3rul5mf

  • Here is another old photo from an airplane of that area.

    Things have changed so much, it’s hard to figure out what you are looking at.

    http://tinyurl.com/3vjzc9v

  • nishith says:

    The history is interesting but I won’t miss the big gap in the road at the elbow between Figueroa and Riverside Drive.

  • syd says:

    I have to agree … I love history and loved reading this piece about the frankensteined-out old bridge, but look forward to a (hopefully) more accommodating design. plus, new infrastructure creates jobs!

    • Joe Linton says:

      Well… tearing my home down and re-building it would create jobs, too, but I am gonna fight against those jobs. Maintaining and lovingly restoring old bridges creates jobs too… so does building bike paths, fixing sidewalks, narrowing roads…

  • Wow, that’s too bad. I use that bridge pretty often and love the style. It’s too bad LA can’t fix anything and just demolish and make new. Enjoyed ready about the history and looking at the pictures.

  • This is one of the best posts you’ve ever written – very poignant and a wonderful tribute to a Los Angeles Bridge so many drive/bike/walk over each day, oblivious to its deep mystery below.

  • Lane Barden says:

    Amazing story Joe. Thanks for that. The Dayton Viaduct is a thing of beauty and I had never seen that photo. Since I moved to Lincoln Hgts. I have been biking across this bridge every day. I can’t say I’m in love with it, especially since I’ve now seen the Dayton version. I’m glad about the new bike path but frankly I’m not looking forward to seeing the new bridge. I’m afraid it will be bland and generic, and those responsible will have a million reasons why it just had to look that way. But it will amount to another missed opportunity to raise the river up to something greater than a utility.

  • Katherine says:

    I’ve crossed this bridge so many times, and never known its history. Thanks for sharing so much important information. I am always apprehensive about any demolition, but curious to see how this bridge can be improved. It’s one of my favorite vantage points to view the river from. The stilts love this spot!

  • mr. rollers says:

    Joe – great eye-opening insight into the history of this fascinating section of the river!

  • It’s sad and hypocritical when we can declare a structure to be officially historic and then roll over and let it be demolished. I am aware that the environmental process had already been performed and the new project vested before the Cultural Heritage Commission acted. However, the status has changed during the interim and the CEQA process should have been reopened and a new document opened for public comment and analysis. The courts have ruled as much in other cases, such as the case of the EIR for the Long Beach Freeway. Personally I’m frustrated that there has been no constituency out there fighting for this part of our heritage in the manner that we have for the Spring Street and Sixth Street bridges.

  • Joe, thanks for bringing this to our attention. It’s a funky old leftover bridge, that funky rubber and flashing near the curb always threatens a skid or flat. But in some way it’s a neat old bridge. That entire area is like a study in bad planning and leftover this and that. I am shocked at how close the exchange from the 110 north the the 5 north comes to it, looking at some of the old photo links I posted there used to be an intersection there at the bend. I just another photo that I am posting here, it shows an old wooden bridge at this location, possibly someone much as yourself lamented the tearing down of this structure way back when. I wish we all still had more breathing room, not so crowded, looking at the old photos, I yearn for some more open spaces. I am going to visit this old bridge on foot this weekend just to look and feel what is there before it gets destroyed.

    Here is photo of really old wooden bridge at this site.

    http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/search/controller/view/chs-m3927.html

    • Joe Linton says:

      Brian – another awesome photo!!! That’s the same 1903 bridge that’s in the grainy photo from the L.A. Times. It’s great to see such a clear old photo of it. I need to check with the USC folks and see if I can use these old photos… they’re wonderful. Thanks!

  • Matt McGrath says:

    Great post, thanks for putting it together.

  • carol says:

    Wow – thank you so much for sharing and educating us about this old bridge. Wonderful article and photos!

    One question that it didn’t answer for me is WHY is this being demolished and why now.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Carol – I was going to write more about the bridge replacement… but my post got long. I hope to write about the new bridge soon. Frankly, the WHY is: more cars. This quirky two-lane neighborhood-scale bridge is being replaced by a 4-lane freeway-scale bridge – so more cars can move faster.

      • Jessica Hall says:

        so cars can move faster?

        That doesn’t sound too good for the heavy pedestrian and bike traffic the bridge gets. I was always grateful for the forced slowing of that bend in the L when I was on my bike.

        By the way, the difference in the railing, where there’s a joint in the later installation, could just be a function in change in how those sections were manufactured – or an expansion joint.

        Love seeing the natural LA River with trees downstream of the bridge!

      • Mom says:

        I don’t really see a need for a 4-lane bridge. Even at rush hour (morning and night), there isn’t that much traffic here. And, for those of us who live in Mount Washington, Glassell Park and Cypress Park, it’s the most convenient way to get across the river. During rush hour, having to go down San Fernando Road towards Fletcher is a nightmare.

      • Joe Linton says:

        I agree. There’s no need – it’s basically a make-work project. The city crunched the numbers and found that they could get money (actually double the usual money – because it’s technically 2 bridges) for tearing down and widening.

  • kbreak says:

    #Lane Barden :
    I’m kevinbreak.com and I’m photographing this project for the contractor and LA City.
    At the office today I saw one of the blueprints of the new bridge and it looks similar in style to the Dayton concrete bridge, so no worries there.
    I will miss the old bridge and all that metalwork underneath… but not that huge expansion joint where it makes the turn North.

  • Ulises Diaz says:

    I’m also so sad that this bridge is going away.

    I have a great photopan of you giving a tour on this bridge
    +
    I have a plexiglass etching print of the confluence that I made years back.

  • Christopher Richard says:

    Is there any historical mitigation money up for grabs? You might get some support.

  • Rex McDaniel says:

    Joe….great article…thanks…Rex

  • adam says:

    why does it take 4 years to rebuild?

    • Joe Linton says:

      You’d have to ask the city/contractor that question. It’s a big project with multiple phases, though – they will be starting the new bridge, then re-routing, then demolishing, etc.

  • David Brunk says:

    Everyone who bikes is pleased now but will everyone be pleased to be without a bridge for 3 yrs. It is an important link but I have never seen a traffic backup there. Do we need a wider bridge as planned or just a resurfacing of a worn out roadway? Resurfacing of many worn and potholed surfaces around town are a better use of taxpayer funds.
    The streets of Los Angeles were all smooth in the 40’s and 50’s.
    That is the biggest negative change in our city over the years.
    Thanks for the history lesson with pictures.

  • This bridge is not that heavily used and it seems odd to replace it to accommodate more traffic. More likely is the idea that the City is replacing it because they can. There is a Federal “Sub-standard Bridge” fund that is available specifically for replacing bridges that are deemed ( by what experts) to be too narrow for today’s needs. I fully agree that the money (and considerably less of it) would be better spent to re-pave and rehabilitate the historic bridge. However the Federal money has restrictions on its use and is not available if there is no widening. This is the push on the Spring Street Bridge. Personally, I believe this replacement to be unnecessary and a big waste of scarce taxpayer money.

    • Jessica Hall says:

      Perhaps bridges need structural upgrades for earthquakes, and the city can’t resist increasing capacity while they’re at it.

  • Skr says:

    That whole area is a mess. The roundabout is a great idea because there are 5 streets that come together at non-orthogonal bearings.

  • Brian says:

    I went over to visit this bridge (actually it is a viaduct, correct?) on Saturday.

    I walked all over the existing sidewalks on both sides and I even ventured past the concrete barrier on the southwest corner where the freeway ramp now occupies what used to be the road that joined the bridge there. There is an old sidewalk along the side of that exchange from 110 north to the 5 north, it’s quite amazing to look and imagine what it must have looked like way back when, before all the freeway upgrades etc.

  • [...] Say Goodbye to the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge (Creek Freak) [...]

  • bertrum says:

    I stumbled across this article from a kayaking website and nearly lost the will to live; it’s a prefabricated bridge across a concrete storm drain – save my creek my arse

  • Dando Guerra says:

    You’re one of the angels of Los Angeles. Thank you.

  • Let me know if this agrees with information others have heard about access during construction:

    Since I commute daily by bike from Glendale>LA River Bike Path>Riverside/Fig Bridge.DTLA (and back again), I was concerned that the proposed demolition of the bridge would cut off my route. I called the number on the sign, and a woman named Tanya Durrell returned my call. She informed that during demo/construction there would always be at least a one-lane-in-each-direction bridge providing access. She was very reassuring. I was glad to hear that.

    I asked her if there could be room for a bike lane or appropriate street markings/signage on this mini-bridge to avoid making it a death trap for the many cyclists that use this route to get to/from points north (Glendale, Burbank, S. Pas, Pasadena, Montrose, La Canada, Los Feliz, Atwater, Elysian Valley/Frogtown, etc.). She found my suggestion to be very interesting and stated she would discuss this with the PM and give me a call back.

    • Joe Linton says:

      From the 2005 documentation, it seems like there are some points during the five-year construction that the whole thing is closed. Not most of the time, though… but your info is more up to date than mine.

  • Frances thronson says:

    In re your remark below, if you’re interested in any info on the bridge and the building of the 5 and 110 interchange, my father could tell you all the stories. He built the interchange. His very first! The contractor asked him if he’d like to build Dodger Statdium or the new interchange and dad thought the interchange would be more challenging so that’s what he chose. Probably still has some plans around the house (we used them for scratch paper for a decade or two…)

    And on a more personal note, how the heck are we going to get from Fig to the northbound 5 for these years? I’ve given up the Marmion Way/Ave 50/El Paso to the 2 route because of all the pointless new stop signs and this is the only quick way out of this…

    “I left in the unexplained reference to the 1950′s when the connection between the 5 and the 110 freeways altered this bridge… not so much, though. I don’t have a lot of documentation on that…”

  • Paul S says:

    Here is a link to the LA City Bureau of Engineering web site project information page

    http://boe.lacity.org/uprs/report/ProjectInfoReport.cfm?k=1290&dmy=30638

    The sketch of the new bridge above looks like the discription on the information page.

  • Ross says:

    FYI–construction has recently started and lane closures are in effect as of April 19, 2012.

    Problem alert (for cyclists): Riverside Drive where the LA River Bike Path ends (and cyclists heading to downtown must exit the path and proceed on Riverside) is reduced to one vehicular lane with no shoulder, no bike lane, and no signage. Vehicles cannot pass cyclists on this stretch, thus cyclists must take the lane. This could be a very dangerous spot as vehicles traveling at high rates of speed as they head south on Riverside approaching this construction (1) might not see cyclists in the middle of the travel lane (i.e., if distracted or if visibility is otherwise impacted by a host of factors–sun, nighttime, construction debris, etc.), (2) might not have enough advance warning to slow down to appropriate speeds to avoid hitting slower-moving cyclists, (3) might try to squeeze by some cyclists that are trying to give vehicles room to pass (which would be impossible) as they attempt to hug the curb.

    It’s disappointing that no accommodations were made for the duration of this construction for the many bike commuters that use this route, but it’s even worse that there is set up a potentially very dangerous situation for cyclists for whom this is a major arterial commuting route and that there is no signage to attempt to alert or control the vehicular traffic.

    Please let me know who else I can inform of this situation to raise the awareness to possibly make this a safer situation.

    • bfrobisher says:

      I just fired off an email to a big list of people that responded to yesterday’s Cypress Bike Lane blog questions.
      They really need to do better, that is a major bike area, there are no alternatives.

      • Ross says:

        Completely agree. If you’ve got a link with some contact info and you can post it here, I’d be happy to communicate with people as well.

  • kbreak says:

    You want to call 311 during business hours and ask for the appropriate phone number at the Bureau of Engineering, City of LA on Broadway.
    If that doesn’t work, try asking for Traffic and/or Streets, or ask for the phone for the Safety Inspector for LA that is assigned to the Riverside project.

    I’m sure that bicyclists simply haven’t been brought to their attention.

    btw do image tags work here? I have a photo of the bridge. Actually I have a Lot of photos of the bridge!

    [IMG]http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee476/5129/figueroa_ps_4704_web.jpg[/IMG]

    • Ross says:

      I’ve sent emails to Councilmember Reyes (in whose district the bridge construction is taking place), his staff that typically deals with these issues, and the LA BoE Project Manager–Rajni Patel. I’ve also informed LADOT via their staffed bikeblog, and alerted LACBC. No response yet. Frankly, not holding my breath for any significant improvements, but I’m willing to reach out to whomever can/should be contacted on this.

      When first hearing about this issue from Joe months ago, I contacted several people to inquire into whether bikes will be accommodated during the construction–since it’s my commute to/from work each day. The response varied from: “sure” to “bikes? now, that’s an interesting way to get around.” And the final plans call for a Class 1 bikeway, so I’m not so sure they can claim bikes were simply never brought to their attention. Even if they would claim to, that’s pretty ignorant.

  • kbreak says:

    rats.

    well you can cut and paste it, I actually think the bridge is beautiful in its own way.

  • [...] Say Goodbye to Riverside-Figueroa Bridge Over the River Path (Creak Freak) [...]

  • Danny says:

    Always sad to see historical architecture go but I am excited to see the new bike path on the new bridge. Now if only the LA River bike path and the Arroyo Seco bike path can be connected. That would be a great.

  • ubrayj02 says:

    It is a shame that the bike path will connect to San Fernando and Avenue 19 – when the entire North Figueroa corridor lies on block east. Segregating bikes away from major retail hubs means that bike investments never have a change to pay for their construction. If bike traffic were placed in our business districts, the added revenue for cyclists would help to pay for the costs of building and maintaining bike infrastructure.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Who said “never”?!?! We’re just getting started! Let’s make Fig4All happen! I think we can get those North Figueroa bike lanes in – starting from both the south and north ends. Let’s do it!

  • marco polo says:

    this bridge was our home …. so many memorys this yard will Never Be Forgotten…dayton bridge trolls!

  • […] was just over two years ago that I first heard that the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge over the L.A. River was doomed for demolition to make way for a newer version that would be built right next door. Despite its historic […]

  • […] Riverside-Figueroa has three different spans: the main span over the Los Angeles River, a side-hill viaduct along Riverside Drive, and a span over Avenue 19. Those three spans meant a lot of bridge funding bearing down on an old bridge that has already seen its share of indignities. The initial concrete arch bridge and sidehill bridge were completed in the late 1920s. Avalanches and partial demolition left the lessened bridge that still stands today (hopefully.) Read a detailed bridge history here. […]

  • […] The photo above was taken by Osceola Refetoff, and I found it at the LA Creek Freak blog. The author gives an exhaustive history of this bridge, which you can access by clicking here. […]

  • […] See more of Daveed Kapoor’s work at his Instagram feed @daveedkapoor and his architecture practice website Utopiad.org. For more history on this unique landmark bridge, see this L.A. Creek Freak piece. […]

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