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Historic Highway Bridges
of Los Angeles County

Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena. Photo courtesy of ThatGuyChris & Pixabay.com.

The first bridge over the Los Angeles River was a covered bridge with kerosene lamps at Macy Street. It was completed in 1870.

Bridge Year Built Length (Feet) Location
Badger Ave. Bascule 1923 221 Vicinity Long Beach, over Cerritos Channel, on Henry Ford Ave. First of its kind in California
Buena Vista (N. Broadway) 1910 --- LA, N. Broadway over LA River
Colorado St. 1913 153* Pasadena, Colorado St. over Arroyo Seco
Figueroa St. 1936 803 LA, I-110 over LA River. Steel girder river span. Largest of its kind when built.
First St. 1929 --- LA, over LA River
Fletcher Dr. 1927 469 LA, over LA River
Four-Level Interchange 1949 --- LA, Intersection of Harbor & Hollywood Freeway. The first freeway-to-freeway interchange in California
Fourth & Lorena St. 1928 390 LA, 4th St. over Lorena St. One of the most graceful of the open spandrel arch bridges designed in 1920’s.
Fourth St. (viaduct) 1931 --- LA, over LA River
Bridge Year Built Length (Feet) Location
Geneva Blvd. 1937 --- Glendale, over Verdugo Wash. The three Vierandeel trusstypes in Glendale may be oldest in U.S.
Glendale-Hyperion (viaduct) 1927 1,152 LA, on Glendale Ave. over LA River
Glenoaks Blvd. 1937 95* Glendale, on Glenoaks Blvd over Verdugo Wash. Very rare example of Vierandeel trusstype – common in Europe - rare in U.S. The three Vierandeel trusstypes in Glendale may be oldest in U.S.
Holly St. 1924 410 Pasadena, over Arroyo Seco
Kenilworth Ave. 1937 --- Glendale, on Brand Ave. over Verdugo Wash. The three Vierandeel trusstypes in Glendale may be oldest in U.S.
Macy St. (viaduct) 1926 --- LA, over LA River
Macy St. Undercrossing 1931 --- LA, Macy St. under RR tracks of Union Station. Structurally part of Union Station.
Main St. 1910 280 LA, over LA River
Ninth St. 1925 1,422 LA, over LA River
Bridge Year Built Length (Feet) Location
San Rafael 1922 --- Pasadena, over Arroyo Seco
Seventh St. (viaduct) 1927 --- LA, over LA River.
Shakespeare Bridge 1925 --- LA, on Franklin Ave. over unnamed Arroyo. Mimics Gothic Revival detailing of other public buildings in Los Feliz.
Spring St. 1928 --- LA, over LA River
Sunset-Silver Lake 1934 85 LA, Sunset Blvd over Silver Lake Blvd.
Washington Blvd. 1931 65* LA, over LA River

*Main span

Source: California Dept. of Transportation

Sixth Street Viaduct over Los Angeles River. Demolished in 2016. Photo from the Library of Congress.

The iconic Sixth Street Viaduct, spanning 3,446 feet over Los Angeles River near Downtown Los Angeles, was demolished in 2016. It was built in 1932 and was the largest concrete bridge built in California prior to 1945.

The Santa Fe Arroyo Seco Bridge, built in 1895 and standing over the Pasadena Freeway (SR-101), is the oldest standing and highest railroad bridge in Los Angeles County. It is 700 feet long and stands at 100 feet high.

Some Venice Canal Bridges are listed in the National Register as part of the Venice Canals Historic District. Included are four bridges built in 1906 on Dell Avenue across the Carroll, Sherman, Linnie, and Howland Canals.

The longest stairway in Los Angeles is believed to be a steep stairway found about a quarter block from the intersection of Baxter Place and Avon Street in Elysian Heights. It has 230 steps. - Stairway Walks in Los Angeles, Adah Bakalinsky & Larry Gordon; Wilderness Press, Berkeley

The beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena was built by the Kansas City firm of Waddell & Harrington in 1913. Owner John Waddell had already achieved some fame in bridge-building circles as the inventor of the vertical lift bridge. The Colorado Street Bridge was the first and only reinforced concrete bridge project by the firm.