Figueroa Street Viaduct – Los Angeles CA


“FOR, many years the city of Los Angeles has felt the need of an additional through traffic highway to the north to relieve congestion on North Broadway. Figueroa Street, one of the main north and south arterials in the city was the logical street to be extended. A barrier formed by the Elysian Park hills and the Los Angeles River made this undertaking very expensive. However, the project has been carried forward one step at a time as funds became available.

The first step was taken in 1928 when plans were ordered for the first tunnel under Elysian Park. The final or fourth tunnel under the Elysian hills was recently completed. The final barrier is the Los Angeles River and the Southern Pacific tracks over which the Figueroa Street Viaduct is now being constructed. This viaduct is nearing completion. The viaduct project is the largest one in the southern part of the State to be financed from funds set aside by the Federal Government for grade crossing elimination. It is being constructed under the supervision of the Bridge Department, of the State Division of Highways. Plans for the structure were prepared jointly by the bridge engineers of the city of Los Angeles and the State. The work when completed will cost $625,000.”

“The center span over the Los Angeles River is 200 feet in length and is one of the longest plate girder spans in the country. The other two steel spans are 104 and 127 feet in length respectively. The steel girders like the concrete girders also have curved soffits.”

“The project includes the construction of the viaduct proper; the construction of 850 feet of roadway embankment and pavement to make connection with Figueroa Street at Avenue 22, north of the river; the building of a retaining wall along the embankment on the westerly side of the approach; the construction of 700 lineal feet of slope paving along the westerly bank of the Arroyo Seco, the construction or a southerly connection to the tunnel road under Elysian Park.”

“The design of the steel girders is somewhat unusual. The ordinary plate girder has a single web plate, flange angles, and cover plates. In the construction of the viaduct girders double web plates were used with a filler plate between. Clinton Construction Company is general contractor on the project.”

Source notes

By PAUL R. WATSON, Resident Engineer April 1937 issue California Highway & Public Works magazine

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Location Info

Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90031

Coordinates: 34.079676, -118.226740

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