WINNETKA, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield was joined by Board of Public Works President Kevin James, Jim Treadaway from the Bureau of Engineering and community members to mark the full reopening of the Vanowen Street Bridge after more than three years of construction.
The north side of the bridge was closed on December 22, 2010 after a large hole was discovered on the north side of the bridge deck due heavy rain and erosion.
“Today, I’m proudly checking this bridge opening off my list of first-year priorities,” said Councilmember Blumenfield. “This new bridge is 25 feet wider, it’s better lit and more attractive, but more importantly, it’s much, much safer.”
The original Vanowen Street Bridge was built in 1956 and was designed for gravity loads without considering seismic motion. The bridge contained several as-built deficiencies that increased the vulnerability of the superstructure to collapse during a seismic event.
Project improvements included: replacing the existing bridge superstructure and widening the bridge by approximately 11 feet on the south side and 14 feet on the north; widening the roadway approaches to match the new bridge width and to meet current standard lane widths; widening the sidewalks to standard width and replacing the existing barrier rails with architectural barrier railings; installing new street lighting on the bridge; and installing new traffic signals at the intersection of Mason Avenue and Vanowen Street.
"This project was initiated as a seismic upgrade, and also incorporated community focused amenities that included a widening of the bridge, a new deck structure, new street lighting, wider sidewalks and shoulders, and unique artistic railings created by an artist. We are happy to see this opening to the public," commented Deborah Weintraub, AIA, LEEDAP Interim City Engineer.
Board of Public Works President Kevin James was on hand as the Councilmember joined with community members in removing the sign that had notified drivers to construction since 2011.
“We in the community who rely on this bridge at times feel like this sign we are removing: beat up, battered and worn,” continued Blumenfield before removing the sign. “It’s been here a long time—too long!”