A street dance, parade, and community picnic on the banks of the Los Angeles River today marked the opening of the Gage Avenue Bridge, with more than 15,000 residents of Bell and surrounding communities joining the celebration.
Started in July, 1939, the new $247,000 steel and concrete structure was completed early this week and opened to traffic at 8 p.m. today.
Demolished in the flood of March, 1938, the bridge stood in ruins for more than a year before construction was begun. County and State officials could find no funds for the work during 1938 and bitter protests were made by merchants and residents of the community.
After repeated appeals to the Board of Supervisors the money was obtained by Supervisor William A. Smith, who officiated at dedication ceremonies.
A feature of the celebration was a free picnic dinner served by Bell merchants and Spanish singing and dancing resented by the famed Lugo Family of Dell, descendants of Don Antonio Maria Lugo, who owned the great Lugo Rancho which included the cities of Bell, Maywood, Huntington Park and a portion of Los Angeles.
Following a brief address this evening by Supervisor Smith and other county officials, residents of the community held a gala street dance on the boulevard west of the new bridge.