First (& Fourth) Street Bridges in "Grease"
Paramount Pictures - Randal Kleiser Director
-- Historic American Engineering Record
Work is scheduled to start soon on the new $975,000 First-Street viaduct across the Los Angeles River and industrial district railroad tracks, following the completion last week o the plans for of City Bridge Engineer Butler. The bridge plans met with the approval of Councilman Sanborn of the Ninth District, who is the chairman of the Council's Tunnels, Bridges, and Viaducts Committee. Work will start on the First-street viaduct immediately after the opening to traffic of the new Seventh-street viaduct, nearing completion.
Replacing the present worn-out structure, which has been in use since 1889, the new viaduct will be the same modern concrete arch construction used on the new Ninth and Seventh-street viaducts.
The new viaduct will be 2062 feet long, including approaches, as compared with the 1200-foot length of the present bridge, extending from Vignes street on the west to Mission Road on the east side of the river. There will be an overall width of seventy-one feet, with a fifty-six-foot roadway, and two five-foot sidewalks. The present bridge has a roadway varying from forty-one to fifty feet in width.
There will be two 125-foot arch spans across the river, designed to permit construction of a truck speedway in the river bed, and important feature of the major traffic plan. Girder approaches to the river section will span the Santa Fe and Union Pacific tracks.
A separation of grades will be made at First street and Santa Fe avenue west of the river, while provision is made in the plans for a future traffic slot at Mission Road, east of the river,permitting the separation of traffic north and southbound on Mission Road from the viaduct traffic.
Myers street, between Mission Road and the river, is connected with the present approach by a dirt ramp. The plans for the new structure make it possible for a future grade separation by lower the street.
Large ornamental pylons are to be constructed at intervals along the entire length of the viaduct, including approaches, a feature not incorporated in the viaducts already constructed, which, Butler said, will "maintain interest in the structure from end to and and tend to unify the viaduct".
The estimated cost of the viaduct is $95,000, including acquisition of land for approaches, but not including the cost of relocating track of the Union Pacific, Santa Fe and Los Angeles railways. The cost will be divided between the three railways, Los Angeles city and Los Angeles county, the proportions not having yet been worked out. This the first instance, it was pointed out, where the city has replaced a bridge which already included the feature of railroad grade separation.
Great Inconvenience from the Interruption of Traffic
The people on Boyle Heights are considerably annoyed by the interuption of travel on First street, caused by the tearing up of the old bridge to make way for the new steel viaduct. Mayor Workman foresaw the inconveniences which would result from the closing up of the street, even for a short time, and two weeks ago sent a message to the Council calling attention to the matter, and suggesting that some temporary provisions b made for bridging over the difficulty. Mr. Cohn state that this had been attended to, and the measure was filed and nothing was thought about it until Wednesday morning, when traffic was suspened and the only communication that be could be had was byway of Aliso street, the busses having to go down Aliso to Alameda,, and then come up that street to First. Thus raised quite a storm of indignation, which, however, subsided yesterday when it was learned that temporary inclines were being put in for use until viaduct is completed. The present First-street bridge will be moved to Ninth street.