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Eyes on the Street: Progress on Three New Walk/Bike/Horse Bridges over L.A. River

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This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.
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The city of L.A. is making progress on three new L.A. River bike/walk bridges that SBLA last reported on in August. There are three new pedestrian bridges currently under construction, all in the relatively natural eight-mile-long Glendale Narrows stretch of the river through Northeast Los Angeles.

The La Kretz bridge is located in North Atwater, connecting that community to the river bike path on the west bank. The bridge is designed to carry pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians. The bridge provides a safe equestrian connection to Griffith Park via an existing tunnel under the 5 Freeway.

North Atwater's nearly completed La Kretz bridge
North Atwater's nearly completed La Kretz bridge
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View of the pretty much completed North Atwater La Kretz bridge last weekend.
View of the apparently completed North Atwater La Kretz bridge last weekend. The photo shows the bike/walk path. To the left, behind wooden slats, is the parallel path for riding horses.
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Construction was anticipated to be completed this year. The city's Bureau of Engineering posted pictures of people riding horses there (for load testing) in October. Though there are still fences preventing the public from accessing the new facility, construction appears complete - and north-south travel on the bikeway has been fully reopened. A grand opening should take place any day now.

As part of the city's retrofit of the historic Glendale-Hyperion Bridge, a new pedestrian bridge is being added just downstream - atop the old Red Car pier walls.

Panorama of new Glendale-Hyperion pedestrian bridge
Panorama of new Glendale-Hyperion pedestrian bridge
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New Glendale/Hyperion ped/walk bridge under construction
New Glendale/Hyperion pedestrian bridge under construction
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Construction there just got underway in April, and the cross-river span is already in place, with construction still in progress on each end. The existing south bank river bike path remains passable during construction.

The third bridge is located in Elysian Valley, near the end of Altman Street. That bridge will connect Elysian Valley to Cypress Park, and the planned large-scale river revitalization at Taylor Yard. Construction there broke ground in June and is expected to be complete in 2021.

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River path closed for bridge construction in Elysian Valley
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Elysian Valley bridge construction is underway along the tops of the banks, but in-channel construction is halted during the rainy season.
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River bridge falsework under construction in Elysian Valley
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Construction is not that far along, though it has closed off a portion of the walk/bike path though Elysian Valley. Detour signage is posted directing cyclists to neighborhood streets, though many pedestrians and cyclists chose to walk on the sloped channel wall below the closed area.

The city of Glendale is planning a fourth bridge nearby, designed to connect Glendale to the L.A. River path and to Griffith Park. That bridge will be accessible via Glendale's existing walk/bike path located on the north bank north of the 134 Freeway. As part of a rail grade separation project, Metro is finalizing designs for two connective bridges that will facilitate walk/bike access from Glendale.

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