Eyes on the Street: Regional Connector Bridge Construction on Bunker Hill
Most of the construction work on Metro’s Regional Connector subway is happening underground, but Streetsblog was in downtown L.A. last weekend and observed several aspects of above-ground progress, including the beginnings of the new pedestrian bridge at the future Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station.
The Regional Connector is a $1.55 billion 1.9-mile light rail subway that will tie together the Metro A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines. Construction got underway in 2014, and is now 78 percent complete. The originally expected 2020 opening has been delayed. The Metro board recently approved incentivizing accelerating the project schedule by ten weeks; construction is now anticipated to be substantially complete in January 2022 for a mid-2022 opening to the public.
The under-construction Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station is in a somewhat-out-of-the-way location, on Hope Street at 2nd Street, essentially directly behind the Broad Museum. The station will connect to Grand Avenue via a pedestrian bridge over Hope Street. The bridge will take riders to a walkway immediate south of the Broad – allowing for additional transit access to Grans Avenue destinations including the Broad, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Colburn School, California Plaza, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center, and Grand Park.
Metro recently began construction on the pedestrian bridge to Grand Avenue. In January, the agency shared this bridge construction photo on Facebook.
The bridge was designed by (fer) studio architects. Construction is expected to take about three months, with some weekend closures of the block of Hope Street between 2nd and Kosciuszko Way.
The currently visible wood and rebar structure is not the final bridge, but the support structure on which the bridge will be built.
The area where the bridge will touch down behind the Broad is currently fenced off. There are plans for that area will become a “park-like” green space accessible to the public, with possible future development some day.
Metro crews were also out restoring a portion of Flower Street (at 4th Street), where a short stretch of the Regional Connector subway was built using a cut-and-cover method.