LOS ANGELES — On the first day of National Infrastructure Week, Mayor Eric Garcetti broke ground on the new North Atwater Multimodal Bridge to connect Atwater Village on the river’s eastern bank to the L.A. River Bike Path on its western bank. The new bridge achieves goals set in the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan — a blueprint for the 32 miles of the river in the City of Los Angeles to restore its ecosystem, expand parks and paths along it, and inject new life into the neighborhoods and businesses around the river.
“The L.A. River is an extraordinary treasure with limitless potential for the communities that surround it,” said Mayor Garcetti. “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 project, which has an expected completion date of late 2019, was largely made possible by a $4.75 million donation from Morton La Kretz.
“Together, we are writing a new chapter for Los Angeles and its River,” Councilmember 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 new bridge will include two separate decks — one for pedestrians and cyclists and the other for equestrians, which includes the LAPD Mounted Unit located in nearby Atwater Village. The new equestrian overpass will provide a safe, year-round path across the river to access Griffith Park through the existing tunnel beneath the I-5 Freeway.
The bridge will feature an iconic design — the first steel cable-stayed bridge constructed in the City of Los Angeles.
“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,” said Gary Lee Moore, City Engineer. “The Bureau of Engineering is pleased to deliver another key project as part of the City’s plan for L.A. River revitalization.”
Mayor Garcetti has been a leader in the City’s efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River by transforming it from a concrete flood channel into a space for nature and recreation — creating miles of open space within our dense urban area. A large component of this revitalization is dedicated to building new bridges that connect communities to the river, such as the Sixth Street Viaduct replacement, which broke ground in February 2015, the Taylor Yard Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge (breaking ground in late 2018), and the Red Car Pedestrian Bridge (breaking ground in April 2019).