In this Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, photo the 6th Street Bridge that spans the Los Angeles River is seen in Los Angeles, before it is closed permanently for demolition. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Famous LA bridge is coming down
February 11, 2016
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The end is near for a well-known bridge. It played a supporting role in many Hollywood chase scenes. They would go down the concrete-lined Los Angeles River.
Giant jackhammers reduced 220 feet of the 6th Street Bridge roadway to rubble by Feb. 6. And they were working on bringing down three massive support columns. This was according to Mary Nemick. She works for the city Public Works Department.
"We had taken down the entire top of the bridge. That's completely gone as of eight this morning," she said.
Crews worked through the night under floodlights. Their job was to dismantle the deck. It spans the U.S. 101 freeway and the concrete-lined Los Angeles River.
The bridge's concrete bottom and sides are a Hollywood favorite. The bridge has been in countless films. Think rival gang members Danny and Leo racing in "Grease." Or the big chases in "Terminator 2" and "Gone in 60 Seconds."
A 2.5-mile section of the freeway was closed Feb. 5. A segment under the bridge was covered with 2 feet of dirt. That was to protect it from the tons of concrete that crashed down on it.
Detouring drivers on other freeways didn't find too much of a problem. Delays ranged from about 15 minutes to 25 minutes. That was according to Laurie Wonder. She works for the California Department of Transportation.
"It's actually been better than we expected. People are heeding the detour rules and heeding our warnings." They are staying away from the area, she said.
The plan was for the freeway to reopen just before the Super Bowl kicked off.
The bridge was considered state-of-the-art when it was built in 1932. But the bridge has been suffering from a chemical reaction. For decades, the chemical reaction has weakened its concrete.
Eventually, the entire 3,500-foot bridge will be replaced. The new roadway has the potential to become another Hollywood backdrop. A 2019 opening has been set. The new bridge is expected to cost $449 million.
Arches above the roadway of the new spa
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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was the bridge used in so many movies?
Write your answers in the comments section below