"A Bridge to the Future" for Los Angeles

Last Updated: April 25, 2012

"A Bridge to the Future" for Los Angeles

"A Bridge to the Future" for Los Angeles

remarks by Alex Ward, Chairman, Friends of the Los Angeles River

This is a great day for the River, and a great day for Friends of the Los Angeles River, who've been working with the Bureau of Engineering and advocating for a world-class new bridge and for this design competition for the last three years.

With this announcement today, the Mayor, the City Council, and the Bureau of Engineering should be commended for recognizing and embracing the idea that a bridge can be more than just a utilitarian structure connecting two points, but can be a symbol of civic pride - think Brooklyn Bridge, think Golden Gate Bridge -think, in fact, of the fourteen bridges that today grace the Los Angeles River through downtown.

These historic bridges, built by the Bureau of Engineering, many under the guidance of Merrill Butler, are the legacy of the era of optimistic expansion of Los Angeles in the 1920s and 30s. They are the "crown jewels" of the City's downtown infrastructure.

Though we will certainly miss the old Sixth Street Bridge, this new bridge can complement its historic peers and represent a new era of optimistic growth and change for downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, and the River between them.

Today is a great time of exciting new bridge building around the world. Dallas just built a dramatic new bridge. San Diego has a graceful new pedestrian bridge. The Bay Area is building the new East Bay suspension bridge. Boston. London. Paris. Hong Kong. Why NOT LA?

This bridge can be a landmark, glowing at night like a beacon, a tourist attraction, a catalyst for economic growth, a strong new link between downtown and Boyle Heights, and a route for pedestrian and bicycle access to the River.

This new bridge can be part of the vision, a vision of Friends of the Los Angeles River, and a vision of the Mayor, for a revitalized River through downtown, a boatable, fishable, yes, even swimmable River with open space, parkland, bike paths, and enlightened development like the Greentech Corridor. This bridge can be the new "crown jewel", the necklace over the River running through the center of an expanded, greener, vibrant downtown.

We look forward to seeing this vision realized, and to the continued rebirth of the Los Angeles River and the optimistic future of our great city.

Thank you.

Alex Ward, AIA, LEED GA
lxw design, inc
5761 west adams blvd
los angeles, ca 90016

To hear Alex Ward, AIA discussing the Sixth Street Viaduct on Frances Anderton's "Design And Architecture" radio program, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

It is expected that the City of Los Angeles will release the RFQ on April 25, 2012 via the Los Angeles Business Assistance Virtual Network (BAVN) website at: http://www.labavn.org/

Last updated: 10-Jan-2013 09:12 PM
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