HNTB Wins Design Competition for Sixth Street Viaduct

The winning design for the Sixth Street Viaduct (courtesy HNTB)

This morning, HNTB was announced as winner of the Sixth Street Viaduct design competition.

In his statement, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa reiterated that the bridge would become an iconic piece of Los Angeles because of the international nature of the competition and “the community’s involvement every step of the way.”

When LASB’s Kris Fortin first wrote about the competition in September, it didn’t appear to him that the community had been as involved in the process as it should have been. Residents were concerned about what kind of planning there was for linking the bridge to the communities on either side, and whether the viaduct would be welcoming to them with regard to the way they would want to use the space. Amusingly, LA Observed seems to suggest, their concerns might be merited, as the renderings appear to “envision the bridge will be visited primarily by young white people,” despite the fact that Boyle Heights is a largely Latino community.

Are you a fan of the winning design?

rendering courtesy HNTB
rendering courtesy HNTB

Want to see a video about the project? Check here.



  • PC

    That is not going to age well. And it looks like crap to begin with.

  • Nice!
    I just hope the pedestrian-friendly environment will be at least as good as demonstrated on the rendering.

  • Davistrain

    My first thought was “Venus Flytrap” plants, the second was “Taco shells”.  Probably not what the designers had in mind.

    Regarding the “young white people” in the artist’s rendering–I suspect that this
    demographic group predominates in many architectural offices.  Showing a raggedy homeless person pushing a battered shopping cart might be more realistic, but it wouldn’t help sell the product. 

  • I think it looks great. 

  • Anonymous

    It is growing on me . . .

  • Anonymous

    I’ll leave the looks to someone else… I’m an engineer, so my aesthetic taste is somewhat questionable :)

    Creating a welcoming pedestrian environment under a viaduct is very tough… even in areas with higher foot traffic, e.g. the 4th St bridge downtown. Given that this area is largely industrial, I have to wonder if we wouldn’t be better off with a more basic “functional” design here, with the extra money spent improving bike/ped facilities elsewhere.

    The Keep Houston Houston blog recently had some interesting thoughts on pedestrian environments under elevated highways:

  • Ubrayj02

    I already feel unsafe walking across numerous pedestrian-only spaces in Los Angeles. If this bridge is anything like those spaces, everyone else will come to know the fear I carry every day I make my commute in to work and back home again across a scary, isolated, blind curve, pedestrian walkway.

    I will believe in it when I can see something more than renderings with pixel people in them. Cross sections. We need cross sections!

  • Ubrayj02

    Oh yeah: what is the projected useful life of this bridge? How much will it cost to maintain it?

  • Alan Fishel

    With so many good designs available the ugliest was selected. The “Swooping” arches at a odd angle makes this an exercise in bad taste.   A single series of “swooping” arches in the center or duel arches on either side of the roadway at a right angle could make this ugly duckling into something spectacular we can all be prod of.  


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