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Archived: Away With That Ugly Old Bridge

There is a bridge on Soto Street at the entrance to Lincoln Heights and El Sereno that links those neighborhoods to Boyle Heights, which as far as we can remember has never had a recognizable name, or recognizable good purpose for that matter.

It’s an ugly bridge that becomes a two-way narrow roadway where Soto St. and Huntington Drive North and South meet, and does little to enhance traffic through the area.

For most of its 77 years, the bridge has been edged by weeds and cement abutments, creating an eyesore, unlike many of Los Angeles’ more aesthetically pleasing historic bridges. The lower part of the bridge is a labyrinth of cement where motorists often get confused as to which lane will get them to Huntington Drive, North Broadway or Mission Road.

Now there is a plan afoot to demolish the bridge as to eliminate the confusing mix of streets underneath the bridge. We believe this decision would improve traffic flow through the area, which is often used as a bypass or shortcut to downtown Los Angeles or points east when freeways near the area are jammed.

An added benefit from the bridges demise is the planned landscaping that will surely enhance and beautify the area which up to now has been impossible due to the concrete barriers that compose the bridge’s under girth. Removal of the bridge will help the area feel more like a community, rather than an abandoned industrial site.

Planning for the project started in 2002 but was halted due to funding restrictions. Now there is a chance to move forward, and forward the city should go.

Why any group of residents would be against the project is beyond us. Just because a bridge is old doesn’t mean it’s worth saving.

We say, give us flowers and greenery and clean traffic lanes, and do away with the ugly old Soto Street Bridge.