How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

American snapshot: Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge as seen from underneath, February 21, 2008
The Sixth Street Bridge as seen from underneath, February 21, 2008 David McNew/Getty Images

Goodbye, Sixth Street Bridge.

Last fall, Los Angeles city officials voted to tear it down, fearing it would not survive a major earthquake because of the faulty concrete that has dogged it since it opened in the 1930s, made weaker with time. The city is on a global search for a design "that honors the bridge’s history, but also reflects the city’s style of today," KPCC reports. The winning design will be chosen next fall.

It's one of a series of historic bridges that connect the Eastside to downtown, spanning the L.A. River. This one is special in its own way, having served as the site of a memorable Dia de Los Muertos festival that turned the bridge into a cross-cultural gathering place. And as with the rest of the bridges, its footings have served as a canvas for generations of graffiti artists.

The bridge is also special to anyone who grew up on the Eastside, me included, using the bridges on a regular basis as their connection to the rest of the city. No date yet for demolition, but construction is planned to begin in 2015.

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