Glendale-Hyperion bridge prepares for a $50 million makeover

Sep 24, 2013

Rendering of Glendale-Hyperion bridge after project has been completed/Bureau of Engineering

It’s one of Los Angeles’ iconic river bridges, the Glendale-Hyperion bridge that connects Atwater Village with Silver Lake and Los Feliz has appeared in numerous photos and films. There’s even a miniature version of it at the Disneyland California Adventure theme park. But the nearly 1,200-foot-long span, also referred to as the Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct,  fails to meet modern seismic as well as highway standards, according to city engineers. That’s why the city has proposed a three-year, $50 million project  to modernize the 84-year-old bridge – which actually consists of several separate structures – while retaining its historic character.

A public meeting and workshop on the construction project, scheduled to begin in 2016,  will be held on Wednesday night, Sept. 25, to review the project and a preliminary environmental impact report.

What will be the results of $50 million and three-years of construction and traffic disruption?  Some of the highlights from the environmental impact report:

  • Improve the Hyperion Avenue viaduct roadway by adding a center median barrier to physically separate northbound and southbound traffic.
  • Consolidate the existing two sidewalks into a single sidewalk along the west side, add a pedestrian
  • crosswalk across southbound Glendale Boulevard at the northern end of the bridge, and restripe the travel lanes to provide new lane widths (12-foot inner and 14-footwide curb lane).
  • Widen the northbound and southbound Glendale Boulevard bridges over the Los Angeles River by approximately eight feet.
  • Replace the existing deteriorated covered railings along both Glendale Boulevard bridges, along Hyperion Avenue, and along the Waverly Bridge with replica balustrades based on the original railing design.
  • Realign the existing I-5 northbound off-ramp to northbound Glendale Boulevard to connect with Glendale Boulevard south of the current exit to allow left hand turns onto southbound Glendale Boulevard and signalize the new intersection.
  • Add an access ramp from northbound Glendale Boulevard to the bike path along the Los Angeles River with an adjacent mini green space.
  • Construct an alternate pedestrian crossing over the Los Angeles River across the existing Red Car piers (downstream of the viaduct complex) to connect the bike path along the southwest side of the Los Angeles River with Glendale Boulevard on the northeast side of the River.

Some concerns have already been raised about the project, which has been criticized by some cyclists as falling short of what is needed to accommodate bikes.

The Bureau of Engineering, which is in charge of the project, will hosting a community workshop he Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct Improvement Project on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at Friendship Auditorium, 3201 Riverside Drive from 6 to 8 PM. The public will be able to comment and respond to the preliminary environmental impact report through Oct. 11.

Rendering of bike path access and offramp from the northbound 5 Freeway and Glendale Boulevard./Bureau of Engineering

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