Eyes on the Street: Regional Connector Bridge Construction on Bunker Hill

Metro's Regional Connector pedestrian bridge under construction - with Disney Concert Hall visible in the background and the Broad Museum slightly visible to the right. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Metro's Regional Connector pedestrian bridge under construction - with Disney Concert Hall visible in the background and the Broad Museum slightly visible to the right. All photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

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) LinesConstruction 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.

Diagram showing planned Regional Connector bridge trajectory - via Metro staff report
Diagram showing the planned Regional Connector bridge trajectory. Via 2017 Metro staff report.
Metro's rendering of the planned Regional Connector pedestrian bridge over Hope Street. Image via Metro staff report
Metro rendering of the planned Regional Connector pedestrian bridge over Hope Street. Station is on the right; The Broad is on the left. Image via 2017 Metro staff report.
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Metro Regional Connector Bunker Hill Station with bridge. Rendering via Metro presentation posted by Urbanize
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Regional Connector Bunker Hill Station with bridge. Rendering via Metro presentation posted by Urbanize

Metro recently began construction on the pedestrian bridge to Grand Avenue. In January, the agency shared this bridge construction photo on Facebook.

In January, Urbanize reported on the new construction; the article includes several newer renderings.

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.

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Closer view of the south side of the under-construction Regional Connector Bunker Hill bridge.
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View of Regional Connector pedestrian bridge construction, looking south on Hope Street.
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View of the top of the under-construction Regional Connector bridge – from behind the Broad Museum.

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.

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Regional Connector bridge construction view from the walkway along the south side of the Broad Museum. The wooden construction material in the center (to the right of the gray elevator entry) is the under-construction bridge. The Broad Museum is on the right, with its iconic honeycomb-like surface visible in the upper right corner.

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.

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Regional Connector construction crews restoring Flower Street.
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Regional Connector work on Flower Street – view from 4th Street ramp.
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Regional Connector construction on Flower at 4th

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