L.A. River Freeway Envisioned in 1946

March 10, 2011 § 3 Comments


The Los Angeles River Freeway - 1946

Here’s a fun rendering of the Los Angeles River Freeway from the Monday March 18th 1946 edition of the L.A. Examiner newspaper – shown at Florence Avenue, in present-day cities of Bell and Bell Gardens. The drawing of the Florence Avenue Bridge looks like one of the downtown L.A. historic City Beautiful bridges. The bridge drawing is geomorphically incorrect; the illustration shows an at-grade roadway, with bridge abutments in the riverbed, blocking river channel flood capacity.

What did get built (aerial below), the 710 Freeway, looks somewhat similar to what was imagined 75 years ago – though more lanes and fewer, well, no fountains. The existing 710 Freeway is huge barrier to river access and river revitalization, and has huge toxic impacts on surrounding communities – and plans for 710 expansion could likely do even more damage.

Florence Avenue, the Los Angeles River and the 710 Freeway today - screen capture from Bing Maps


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