This bridge, the Franklin Ave Bridge, AKA the Shakespeare Bridge (due to its architecture) does not actually quite cross Monon Ave. Monon dead-ends at the base of the bridge. Since Monon does not pass under or any other street, the logic of building the bridge is a little obscure. However, there is a history that explains it. There is a spring where Monon and Tracy Street meet just west of John Marshall High School. This spring feed the Sacatela Creek which flowed south. It was this creek that Franklin Bridge (and Sunset Bridge over Myra)crossed. In 1916 the city created the "municipal improvement district No.4, the Sacatela drainage area in the western part of the city" as reported in the Los Angeles Times of Nov. 26, 1916. "City Engineer Hamlin reports that if the bonds carry [at a value of one million dollars] it is possible that the work will be commenced next spring or summer. If so, it is highly probable that drainage conditions in a section comprising ten square miles will be relieved by next winter". Part of that massive project was diverting the natural flow of the creek into subsurface storm drains. The creek bed was then either paved over (Monon Street and Myra Street) or built over (Thomas Starr King Middle School). The two bridges were then built over the dried up stream beds.
Placing the cost a proposed Franklin avenue bridge over Monon street upon adjacent property by means of an assessment district is vigorously opposed by the Los Feliz Improvement Association in a resolution sent to the Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, City Engineering Department and civic bodies of the East Hollywood High School District.
The resolution declares the proposed bridge, which would cost $45,000, would benefit only a hill east of Monon street and southwest of Tracy street, and that if the improvements is be built it should be paid by the owners and subdividers of the hill. It is being proposed, it is declared, as an "aid to children going to school in the district," but such a bridge is declared to be useless as an approach to the proposed East Hollywood High School which may be located on the block bounded by Tracy street, Monon street, St. George street, and Childs avenue because of a stiff grade. There are plenty of approaches to the proposed high school site without the bride, the resolution says.
"Any creation of an assessment district outside of the actual hill property and immediate property benefited, would manifestly unfair and unwarranted," the resolution continues. "Such bridge will be a wonderful value and great financial benefit in the exploitation of the hill property referred to, but no material benefit to the public at large.
"This association stands ready to use all its efforts and the weight of its prestige in this community to oppose and forestall any such scheme of general taxation without resultant benefit".
Efforts to have the city pay half the costs of the bridge already have failed, it said.
Thank you so much for this article and all your other works on the bridges across the country. There is nothing quite as beautiful as a bridge. Here's a look at our day spent on the bridge known to some locals as the "Shakespeare" Bridge on Monon Street. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvFvAD223yY