Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hyperion Bridge: Reusing Red Car Trolley Footings For New Pedestrian & Bike Bridge*

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 23, 2011.  One of the mitigations for the Hyperion Bridge reconstruction project is a reuse of the old Red Car Trolley bridge footings in the LA River for a new pedestrian & bike bridge.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

The Hyperion Bridge complex was built in 1928, before current earthquake standards.  So it's a pretty fair guess that if they're retrofitting the Hyperion Bridge for earthquake safety, there's no way these footings would meet standards for a train bridge today.  The last Red Car Trolley crossed the LA River on the Glendale Line, June 19, 1955.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, April 23, 2011.

There is currently no room for a bike path, nor a real safe sidewalk on the Hyperion Bridge, nor was it in the plans for the updated bridge.  Thankfully, there was no appetite for a road diet to take away lanes of traffic from the bridge (it's been in the works for years).  Yet, it is the only option many students have for walking between Marshall High School & Atwater. It's not a safe way to walk to and from school.

When City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell was a deputy for (then) Councilmember Eric Garcetti, O'Farrell secured funds from CalTrans to build the pedestrian bike bridge on the Trolley footings. The funds can only be spent on this particular pedestrian bridge project.  

We here at the Corralitas Red Car Blog support this low-impact reuse of an important historic resource. 

This pedestrian/bike bridge should not be confused with the $6 million North Atwater Multi-Modal Bridge just approved last week by City Council.  That one is privately funded & involves equestrian use too.   

It should also not be confused with the historic landmark #770, Red Car Viaduct Footings on the Red Car Property at Fletcher & Riverside Drives.  

There's a big public meeting Wednesday, September 25, 2013 about the Hyperion Bridge Project. 

*Read more on the $50 million dollar Hyperion Bridge makeover: The Eastsider