LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Officials reopened a portion of the 101 Freeway early on Sunday due to demolition of the iconic Sixth Street Bridge being ahead of schedule.
The 2.5-mile section of the freeway reopened at 10 a.m., KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reported.
“Los Angeles gets things done,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The ‘101 Slow Jam’ is a testament to what can be accomplished when we get into the groove, pull together and plan ahead. I am grateful to our crews for all of their hard work this weekend and to the tens of thousands of Angelenos who helped make the freeway closure go even more smoothly than we expected. This was one fast Slow Jam.”
The closure began Friday and was slated to last 40 hours so that crews could bring down 220 feet of the Sixth Street Bridge.
Workers demolished the viaduct using “breaker hammers” to break the concrete apart, according to Caltrans. The steel rebar will be recycled.
Three supporting columns, the bridge deck and two feet of dirt was removed from the freeway.
The 84-year-old bridge, which soars over the concrete-lined Los Angeles River, has appeared in countless Hollywood movies, including “Grease” and “Terminator 2.” Think rival gang members Danny and Leo racing in “Grease” or big chases in “Terminator 2” and “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
“While it is in many ways bittersweet to see the dismantling begin of the historic 6th Street Bridge, it is also symbolic of a new history that is emerging at that site,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “One that will bring a state-of-the art bridge and much needed public space to Boyle Heights and the Arts District.”
Considered state-of-the-art when it was built in 1932, the bridge has been suffering from a chemical reaction that for decades has weakened its concrete.
Eventually, the entire 3,500-foot bridge will be replaced by a new roadway that has the potential to become another Hollywood backdrop. A 2019 opening has been set after $449 million in work.
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