LOS ANGELES — City officials said a multimodal bridge over the Los Angeles River, which will connect Atwater Village on the river’s eastern bank to Griffith Park on its western bank, is expected to be completed by late 2019.
The North Atwater Multimodal Bridge will include two decks — one for pedestrians and cyclists and the other for equestrians — and was made possible in part by a $4.75 million donation from philanthropist Morton La Kretz.
Dignitaries gathered at a groundbreaking May 14 for what will be the first cable-stayed bridge constructed in Los Angeles.
“The L.A. River is an extraordinary treasure with limitless potential for the communities that surround it,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This bridge will give Angelenos better access to green space — creating a destination for people across Los Angeles to disconnect from city life and enjoy nature.”
The bridge will help link the equestrian stables in Atwater Village to 56 miles of horse trails in Griffith Park, and is intended to improve the area safety-wise for equestrians, who currently must ford the river in order to cross it.
The bridge has been in the works as far back as 1998, when then-Councilman John Ferraro introduced a motion to build such a span. Various funding plans fell through as the estimated cost for the bridge kept rising, until a final $16.1 million plan was approved by the City Council last year which included $3.6 million from the state and $6.9 million from the Public Works Trust Fund, along with the donation from La Kretz.
“Together, we are writing a new chapter for Los Angeles and its river,” Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu said. “We are building toward a city with better park access, multi-modal movement, and more people out of their cars and enjoying the great outdoors of Los Angeles. The La Kretz bridge is connecting us to that future.”
The groundbreaking was held on the first day of National Infrastructure Week.
Garcetti’s office said the new bridge will achieve goals set in the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan, which is a blueprint to restore the ecosystem of the river while expanding the parks around it along with increasing public access.
“The North Atwater Bridge not only helps connect the surrounding communities to open spaces along the L.A. River, but it creates another way for Angelenos to enjoy and experience the river,” City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said. “The Bureau of Engineering is pleased to deliver another key project as part of the city’s plan for L.A. River revitalization.”