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La Kretz Crossing

Los Angeles, California



The LaKretz Crossing at Atwater Park spans the Los Angeles River is a groundbreaking structure. It is the first large project developed by the LA River Revitalization Corporation, the umbrella organization that was formed to oversee implementation of the LA River Master Plan. It is a steel structure. It is privately funded and will be gifted to the city and is the first bridge to be constructed over the Los Angeles River in 20 years.


The site, bounded by Interstate 5 and the 4,310 acre Griffith Park on the west and residential neighborhoods on the east, required approval from 5 governmental jurisdictions. This process, along with the physical complexity of the site, with overhead high voltage power lines and specific floodway requirements requiring a minimum number of piers in the floodway, created a challenging context.


The program for the bridge was equally complex. The structure is to provide multimodal connectivity and access from the neighborhoods to Griffith Park, providing safe access for pedestrians, equestrians and bicycles to connect with various trails and pathways. As urban form, the structure has to be a landmark on the river; A symbol of the river redevelopment. The scale and image of the urban object has to be recognizable in the complex urban landscape.


The donor requested an iconic structure preferring a cable stayed solution over all other options. While not the most economical option, the cable stayed solution would easily perform to achieve the clear spans required.  Additionally, the form of the bridge will be iconic calling attention to this reach of the river. The iconic form of this first river bridge of the 21st century continues a tradition of unique bridge structures that has been part of Los Angeles throughout its modern history.


This project was designed by Steve Chucovich while at Buro Happold






bridge design atwater bridge la kretz crossing buro happold

The bridge is 325 feet long and 28 feet wide. It accommodates two separate decks. The first is for pedestrians and bicycles and the second for equestrians. The mast is 126 feet tall from the top of the center pier and 148 feet from the riverbed.


The complex site with constraints on all sides and multiple agency approvals was the most challenging aspect of the project.





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