Since demolition crews began dismantling Downtown Los Angeles’ historic Sixth Street Bridge in February, nostalgic Angelenos everywhere have been mourning its loss. The good news is, however, that on Saturday, August 13, Councilmember José Huizar and the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering will be hosting Rock Day L.A., a free event at the former bridge site to commemorate the old structure and celebrate the soon-to-be-built new one to take its place.
Built in 1932, the bridge, with its towering arches and intricate lampposts, was famed for its Art Deco design and graced the silver screen in movies like Grease, Terminator 2, and Drive. It was as enduring a symbol of Downtown L.A. as the Hollywood Sign is for, well, Hollywood, and stretched across the Los Angeles River, connecting the ever-popular Arts District to Boyle Heights.
The bridge was inflicted by an irreversible alkali-silica reaction (aka concrete cancer) that might have caused it to collapse, particularly in earthquake-prone Los Angeles. Plans are already underway to build a new, decidedly more modern structure in its place.
As part of Rock Day L.A.’s festivities, officials will be handing out 1,000 pieces of the demolished bridge for sentimental visitors to take home. The pieces range from the size of a paperweight to a softball, and will each come with a Certificate of Authenticity from the city. The event will also feature model renderings of the proposed $40-million-dollar project to create public park space under the new bridge, which will feature 20 lampposts salvaged from the old structure, as well as one of its infamous arches. Additionally, food trucks, live music, and a science booth showing samples of the alkali-silica reaction on concrete will be a part of the event.
The Bureau of Engineering will be examining the souvenir concrete remnants to be sure they’re safe before gifting them off.
Rock Day L.A. will take place at 585 S. Santa Fe, 10am-4pm.