After nearly 10 years of planning and construction, the new 6th Street Bridge is ready to once again connect the Boyle Heights community to downtown Los Angeles.
The three-day celebration of the bridge’s grand opening began Friday with a private lighting ceremony before the public joins in the fun with a ticketed event Saturday.
Saturday’s celebration will include music, entertainment, food and fireworks. Tickets are sold out, but walkups are expected to be welcome as long as there is space.
“This is a bridge for the people of L.A.,” City Councilmember Kevin de León said.
At Friday’s event, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti emphasized the feeling of attachment he hopes young Angelenos get from the project.
“Young people will feel that this isn’t just a city of diversity and inclusion but a city of belonging — my city,” he said.
The original bridge, which was built in 1932, had to be demolished because it was not seismically fit, de León said.
He said the new bridge cost about $588 million and took about six years to build.
“It is actually pedestrian, and it is bicycle centric … It’s going to be an iconic symbol,” said de León, who likened the new bridge to the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory.
The bridge is already iconic for another reason.
“This had more women working in construction than any public works project in the history of the country,” according to de León.
Still in the works are a 12-acre park beneath a portion of the bridge that will house three soccer fields, a skateboard park, slides and swings.