The Bureau of Engineering is being super lame about the awesome idea to turn the old Figueroa-Riverside Bridge into a High Line-style park (the eastish-side is really bringing it lately with creative ways to make new public space), saying it's just simply too late, even though, ya know, the bridge is still right there. A pair of preservation-minded architects hatched the plan last year and tons of local groups have signed on—besides creating a new park to the Elysian Valley/Cypress Park area, it'd also save the 170-foot-long bridge, which was built in 1927 "as a reinforced single-arch concrete structure featuring five pairs of decorative octagonal-shaped fluted light posts topped by lanterns," according to the LA Times (the arch span and upper deck were later removed). The city is replacing the outdated bridge slightly upriver (construction has been underway for a while), but their plan includes demolition of the old bridge and an engineer at the BoE tells the Times that "we're past the point of no return on this project."
But the Architect's Newspaper reported a couple months back that the preservationists think that "the city's Bureau of Engineering manipulated the project's cost estimates 'in a strategic way; to prevent City Council from requesting a feasibility study," which would've at least been a serious, in-depth look at the project's potential (besides being required if it's to move forward). The demolition orders for the bridge came way back in 2006, but they were made under the belief that it was structurally deficient and would be replaced in the exact same spot; the city landmarked the structure in 2007, which means only that its destruction will be well-documented.
· Activists seek 11th-hour reprieve for 1927 bridge [LAT]
· Could Old Riverside-Figueroa Bridge Become an Elevated Park? [Curbed LA]