Riverside Figueroa Bridge Demolition Underway

August 6, 2014 § 2 Comments

Riverside Drive Bridge 1926-2011 - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

Riverside Drive Bridge as it looked in 2011 – photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

The city of Los Angeles is proceeding with demolition of  the historic Riverside-Figueroa Bridge over the L.A. River. I’ve been covering this story over at Streetsblog Los Angeles, see today’s article featuring sad photographs showing the bridge being torn up. It makes me sad that this neighborhood-scale bridge is being torn down in favor of a freeway-scale bridge. In this earlier post, I called the project “nothing but zombie engineers fulfilling a now obsolete paean to the automobile.” I don’t think I can outdo that characterization today.

Partially demolished bridge more-or-less as it appears today. Photo by Daveed Kapoor

Partially demolished bridge more-or-less as it appears today. Photo by Daveed Kapoor

Riverside-Figueroa Bridge Destruction: Insult to Pedestrians

April 27, 2012 § 17 Comments

Riverside Drive Bridge 1926-2011 - photo copyright Osceola Refetoff

If there was any doubt that the city of Los Angeles’ wrongheaded destruction of the Riverside-Figueroa Bridge is nothing but zombie engineers fulfilling a now obsolete paean to the automobile, this just in! Not only is the end-product (due 2015) a massive freeway-esque car-centric bridge… but, already this week, the construction zone itself is a dangerous gauntlet for pedestrians.

(No thought has been given to bikes, either, but thick-skinned intrepid bike commuters can pretty much go wherever cars can go… so we cyclists can still use the bridge roadway that’s set aside for cars.)  « Read the rest of this entry »

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.)  « Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 24 March 2010

March 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Image of planned new Riverside Drive Bridge and Roundabout - From L.A. City Flier

EVENTS

>TOMORROW! The city of Los Angeles hosts a community meeting on its plans for the Riverside Drive Bridge. The meeting is at 6pm on Thursday, March 25th 2010 at the Atrium Room of the L.A. River Center at 570 West Avenue 26 in Cypress Park. City flier here.
The city plans to replace the L-shaped Riverside-Figueroa Bridge with a new wider straighter faster deadlier bridge, with construction planned to begin later this year. The L.A. River bike path is planned to extend along the upstream edge of the bridge across the river from Frogtown to Cypress Park. The project (image above) includes a roundabout (traffic circle) at the intersection of Riverside Drive, San Fernando Road, and North Figueroa Streets, where the state is working on its planned Confluence Park. Confluence Park, partially under construction (next to the Home Depot parking lot) but stalled due to state budget issues, will celebrate the historic confluence of the L.A. River and the Arroyo Seco.  Learn more about the project, by attending tomorrow night’s meeting!

>TOMORROW!  The Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History presents their Sustainable Salon: Sustaining Our Water at 7pm on  Thursday, March 25th 2010. It’s free and talkes place at the museum’s North American Mammal Hall. Featuring:  Miguel Luna (Urban Semillas), Renée Maas (Food and Water Watch), and Conner Everts (Southern California Watershed Alliance.) For information and to rsvp contact Kim Kessler at 213-763-3463 or kkessler {at} nhm {dot} org. 

>The Theodore Payne Foundation – California Native flora-philes:

  • California Wildflower Hotline  until May 31st 2010 – Find spectacular California wildflower sites – updated Thursdays. Use link or call (818)768-3533.
  • THIS SATURDAY! Spring discount plant sale & Open House Saturday, March 27th 2010, 8:30am-4:30pm at TPF Nursery in Sun Valley.
  • Annual Native Plant Garden Tour takes place Saturday and Sunday, April 10th and 11th 2010, from 10am-4pm – including a free lecture:  In California, the Natives Are Friendly with Isabelle Greene on Saturday, April 10, 2010, at 6:30pm at Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood.

>The Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, Friends of the L.A. River, and the Urban Land Institute host On Track: Rivers and Rails Symposium. It’s on Thursday, April 1st 2010 from 3pm-6pm at Metro in downtown L.A. More information here.

>The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University hosts three free workshops on three Saturdays: March 27th, April 3rd and April 17th. See earlier post for details.

>Save L.A. River Open Space is holding a special meeting on Thursday, April 15th 2010 at 7pm at the Beverly Garland’s Holliday Inn at 4222 Vineland Ave in Studio City.  Featured will be State Senator Fran Pavley and Esther Feldman of Community Conservancy International presenting a vision for a 16-acre Los Angeles River Natural Park  at the former golf and tennis site.

>The L.A. River boating expedition documentary Rock the Boat will screen at Los Angeles Eco-Village on Saturday May 8th 2010. Basic info here, more details coming soon.

NEWS

Orcutt's Yellow Pincushion - from Ken Bowles Wildflower and Bird Photos - click on image to link to biggified version

>A rare wildflower – Orcutt’s Yellow Pincushion – was discovered at a restoration site in the Ballona Wetlands. The Argonaut tells all!

>Long Beach is labeling its bikeways, and the L.A. River path there is now officially Long Beach Bikeway Route 7.

>Los Angeles’ elected officials and agency leaders have been in Washington D.C. pushing for funding for Los Angeles River revitalization. Los Angeles State Historic Park has the pics to prove it!

>Fishing in the very lush Los Angeles River off Tujunga Boulevard [perhaps Avenue] in 1945? The Museum of the San Fernando Valley has the pics to prove it!

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