Frames of Strength
The Sixth Street Bridge (aka the Sixth Street Viaduct) is a replacement viaduct bridge made of hot-dip galvanized steel, reinforced concrete, and structural cabling. The bridge spans two-thirds of a mile over intersecting freeways, multiple railroad tracks, numerous secondary local streets, and the Los Angeles River, connecting the historic Boyle Heights neighborhood with the trendy and eclectic downtown Arts District. At its time of construction in 1932, the original bridge was the longest in Los Angeles and a landmark setting featured in dozens of movies and television shows over the years. The replacement bridge officially opened for public use on July 10, 2022. Although it is in the exact same location as the original, it now incorporates the stringent up-to-date seismic requirements and modern safety features required by the State of California.
The outer structure of the bridge consists of diverse types of hot-dip galvanized steel framing. The material arrived at the hot-dip galvanizer’s facility a couple frames at a time over the course of six-months. The largest of the frames were dimensionally offset with complex bends or triangle configurations, while others were just standard linear frames with inner flat bar frames and connecting plates. Hot-dip galvanizing was a primary requirement for all carbon steel on the project to protect the exposed steel from environmental corrosion. The hot-dip galvanizer also had to commit to having each load of hot-dip galvanized material at the jobsite within a specific timeframe window because of construction permitting rules for the City of Los Angeles. From its inception, the replacement bridge cost 588 million dollars and took almost six years to complete.
The Sixth Street Bridge has always been one of the busiest thoroughfares into and out of Downtown Los Angeles and its importance to local area traffic flow is paramount. The hot-dip galvanized steel on the bridge will offer valuable cathodic protection, maximizing the service life and sustainability of this valuable piece of infrastructure for numerous decades to come.