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7th Street Bridge


Seventh Street Bridge

Southward view from the riverbed beneath the Sixth Street Bridge



BH Photo #114417

The Singe Double Decked Bridge 

Written by David Kimbrough

This bridge was built in two stages. In 1910 the lower level was built at grade to allow trolleys across the river, which was unlined and much lower than now due to the LA River being on open quarry for aggregate mining. In in mid-1920's it was decided to raise the bridge above grade as the trolley and automobile traffic was at 90o to the freight traffic going north south. Rather than demolish the bridge, they simply built on top of the existing bridge. The second deck is above the first and the same columns were used. Despite appearances, it is not a true double decked bridge as the lower deck is not connected to either bank. All traffic goes on the top deck.





Chapter VII - EXISTING AND PROPOSED BRIDGES - Seventh Street Bridge

California Railroad Commission - Engineering Department - 1920

Seventh Street Bridge is a reinforced concrete arch bridge of three 80-foot clear spans constructed in 1908-910 and toward the cost which (about $115,000, excluding track work and track paving) the Los Angeles Railway contributed $38,480. The roadway on this bridge is 56 feet wide and carries the double track of the Los Angeles Railway. There are two sidewalks 5.8 feet wide. The approaches are slightly raised above the level of the adjacent ground, the grade on the west side being 4 per cent and that on the east side 1.5 per cent, while the grade of Seventh Street, easterly from the bridge and up to Boyle Heights, is approximately 6 per cent. This bridge is a thoroughly modern structure, in excellent condition...

Seventh Street is the principal crosstown street in Los Angeles, both to the east and the west of the business center. The rush-hour vehicle traffic across the bridge and adjacent tracks is nearly equal to the traffic crossing Broadway at Seventh Street....

At this point we have considered two plans, one by which Seventh Street is carried over the depressed tracks and the other where the tracks are carried over Seventh Street. Figure 56 shows a bridge similar to the existing one but with the grades separated, Seventh Street being raise and the Santa Fe tracks depressed. For the west approach, the grade slightly exceeds 4 per cent, because it is not thought advisable to extend the slope beyond Santa Fe Avenue. The westerly two tracks of the Santa Fe are depressed as well as the main line tracks along the river bank.

Extension of the viaduct to Boyle Heights, as has been suggested by certain witnesses, would not seem justified at present, but this plan would not prevent such an extension when warranted in the future. Between the river and Boyle Heights there is considerable lowland suitable for industrial purposes, which would be damaged by a viaduct in Seventh Street across the frontage. This, perhaps, is one of the best reasons for descending to the present grade on the east side. This bridge, it is estimated, would cost $567,591.


Concrete arch bridge over Los Angeles River on Seventh Street in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
Open to traffic
Built 1910, Second Deck added 1927, Seismic Retrofit 1995
- Lang & Bergstrom
- Merrill Butler
- Los Angeles Railway (LARy)
- Los Angeles Transit Lines (LATL)
- Streetcar
Closed-spandrel concrete arch
Length of largest span: 91.9 ft.
Total length: 1,000.0 ft.
Deck width: 56.1 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+34.03444, -118.22639   (decimal degrees)
34°02'04" N, 118°13'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/386788/3766653 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Los Angeles
Average daily traffic (as of 2010)
Inventory numbers
CA 53C-1321 (California bridge number)
BH 11044 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of April 2018)
Overall condition: Good
Superstructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 90.1 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • September 23, 2017: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • September 4, 2014: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • February 7, 2014: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority", "Railroad", "Interurban", "Rail-and-Road"
  • December 14, 2010: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • December 2, 2010: Essay added by David Kimbrough
  • November 28, 2010: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • November 24, 2010: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • January 3, 2009: New photos from David Kimbrough
  • November 3, 2008: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • June 6, 2008: Essay added by David Kimbrough
  • May 27, 2008: New photo from David Kimbrough
  • May 23, 2008: New photos from David Kimbrough


  • David Kimbrough - kimbrough-photo [at] charter [dot] net
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Seventh Street over the Los Angeles Rivers
Posted May 6, 2010, by Angela Solie (asolie [at] pacbell [dot] net)

I work for William A. Karges Fine Art Gallery. We currently have a watercolor by Millard Sheets that represents the building of the 2nd deck on the 7th Street Bridge. The artist won 2nd prize with his rendition of the bridge at the California Watercolor Show in 1927. Thought you'd enjoy seeing it.