Pieces of the historic Sixth Street Viaduct, which connected the Arts District to Boyle Heights and spanned the L.A. River before demolition kicked off in February, will be be preserved and shared with the public.
The beloved Sixth Street Viaduct is being taken down before it has the chance to crumble. Built in 1932, it appeared in movies and music videos. It was a local icon, too. But structurally it was weakening. It threatened to be unsafe in a sizable earthquake, thanks to a breakdown of the material used to construct it, a condition that’s been called "concrete cancer," or alkali silica reaction. A new swoopy viaduct, scheduled for completion in late 2019, will take its place.
Not all of the old viaduct will be discarded. About 1,000 remaining "rocks"—pieces of the bridge ranging in size from "a paperweight to a softball"—will be preserved and given away to the public for free on "Rock Day" on August 13, says Rica Coca, spokesman for City Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area.
These precious chunks aren’t the only pieces of the bridge being saved. One of the arches is being preserved for later use in the public open space that will go under the new viaduct. The arch will be joined by 20 lampposts also salvaged from the bridge. The park and public space planned for underneath the bridge are expected to open in 2020.