Villaraigosa, Boxer Push to Save Bridge
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Senator Barbara Boxer announced Thursday their push for federal funding to rebuild downtown Los Angeles' Six Street Bridge, which more than likely to fall in any major earthquake.
Overlooking the Los Angeles River and Hollywood Highway (101), the bridge has shown cracks and breakage in the stone as early on as 1932. While the city routinely fills the cracks with an epoxy grout to prevent more water from seeping in, there is no way to ever stop the detoriating bridge short of replacing it, according to City Engineer Gary Lee Moore.
"We can't allow our infrasturcture to deteriorate. It's a safey issue. It's a jobs issue. And it's a huge economic competitiveness issue," Said Boxer, D-Calif.
The duo agrees that the bridge is an example of the need for Congress to immediately pass a transportation bill that would fund ninety-one percent of the cost to repace the bridge. While the government has committed to paying $365 million of the $401 million cost to replace the bridge, the commitment depends on Congress not reducuing the size of a new transportation bill scheduled for vote in November. The House is considering a bill that would trim funding for transportation by one-thrid and jeopardize the possibility of rebuilding the bridge.
"Our transportation systems in America used to be the best in the world, but investments have not kept up with needs," Boxer says. "That's the recipe for not being a very strong economic leader, because if you can't move people safely and you can't move products safely, you're going to fall behind."
If everything goes according to plan, Moore said design is likely to begin early next year and construction is scheduled to begin in 2015.