Bridge and Bikeway Construction in West San Fernando Valley
August 26, 2010 § 25 Comments
Construction is underway on a couple of Los Angeles River bridge retrofit and widening projects in the west San Fernando Valley. Specifically work is proceeding on the Tampa Avenue Bridge and Winnetka Avenue Bridge in the Valley communities of Reseda and Winnetka, not far from Los Angeles Pierce College. The bridge projects include river- and historic-themed artwork, a portion of the Los Angeles River bike path, and native landscaping.
Back in Novemer 2008, Creek Freak reported that this project was one of two L.A. River bike path sections that the city was gradually proceeding with. The new path will be two miles on the south bank, from Mason Avenue to VanAlden Avenue, including grade-separated underpasses at Vanowen Street, Winnetka Avenue, Corbin Avenue, and Tampa Avenue.
Due to the state bond freeze, some of the greenway aspects of the project were delayed. The paved bike path itself, including under-crossings, is being done in conjunction with the bridge projects underway. Construction is happening now on the Tampa Avenue and Winnetka Avenue bridges. The first phase at Tampa Avenue began in 2009. The first part of the bike path expected to be competed will be approximately 0.8-miles from Corbin Avenue to Vanalden Avenue, with an undercrossing at Tampa – expected to be open in late 2011 or early 2012.
Next up is the Winnetka Avenue Bridge, where construction began earlier this year. The bike path undercrossing there will connect the bike path from Vanowen to Corbin.
Public artwork for both Winnetka and Tampa bridges are by artist Cheri Gaulke. Creek Freak afficionados may recall Gaulke for her river-themed art installation (including Lewis MacAdams poetry) at the Lincoln/Cypress (Avenue 26) Metro Gold Line Station.
Gaulke’s Tampa Avenue bridge features medallions featuring historic river flora and fauna:
Gaulke’s design for Winnetka commemorates the agricultural history of the neighborhood:
These are artist concept drawings, and the final version may be slightly different. Stay tuned to L.A. Creek Freak for future updates as these bike path and bridge projects near completion.