The 6th Street Bridge is a downtown Los Angeles viaduct that connects the Arts District and Boyle Heights. It’s been open less than two weeks and has been plagued by “street takeovers,” vandalism, drag racing, and criminal activity. The police have been forced to shut the bridge down twice, including Saturday evening as mobs threatened to get out of control.
Unfortunately, we’ve entered another evening where the 6th St Viaduct had to be closed due to illegal activity. The day began with community residents holding signs in the middle of the bridge to “RESPECT THE BRIDGE.” Let’s listen! https://t.co/KWX76N1pI6
— LAPD Central Area (@LAPDCentralArea) July 24, 2022
How respectful? A barber was giving a haircut right in the middle of the bridge.
Barber gives haircut on new Sixth Street Bridge in LA pic.twitter.com/5cWRbtJNny
— No Jumper (@nojumper) July 23, 2022
It’s a very pretty bridge, too.
I had to go see it for myself.
New Sixth Street Bridge.
[Yeah, it’s a lot of concrete.] pic.twitter.com/NhDJ7cElMi
— luísa reis castro (@anthrobite) July 24, 2022
Of course, those spans are an open invitation to drunks, Instagram daredevils, and others looking for their 15 seconds of fame.
The bridge in Boyle Heights east of downtown Los Angeles opened earlier this month and almost immediately became an attractive landmark for escapades and unruly behavior that tied up traffic. On Thursday night, video showed people climbing the 60-foot high arches and a heavily damaged pickup parked on the bridge.
The pickup was damaged in a crash Thursday that scattered vehicle body parts in lanes. No arrests or injuries were reported.
On Monday, police closed the bridge for about an hour overnight due to a takeover that involved about 60 to 100 vehicles. A driver performing burnouts during the takeover was arrested later this week in a hit-and-run crash on the bridge. The man left the scene, but left his Dodge Challenger behind.
Yeah, well, no one ever accused these nuts of being very smart.
So far, speeding and street takeovers have plagued the road, while climbers and bikers have clambered beyond the bridge’s safeguards.
In some of the most visible incidents, a person gave someone else a haircut in the middle of the street while traffic continued, and KTLA’s Jennifer McGraw even had a firework or explosive detonated near her during a report.
In response, police have cracked down on speeders and limited access to the bridge at times, which neighbors seem to support.
“They really are out in full force, motorcycles, cars, even on foot,” one neighbor noted.
It’s not all fun and games, as the LAPD points out.
Friday night’s crash occurred at about 9:55 p.m., according to LAPD Officer Rosario Cervantes.
About an hour after it reopened, crowds once against descended on the downtown bridge “for a street takeover, fireworks and vandalism,” LAPD’s Central Division tweeted. However, no arrests were made.
Central Division also tweeted that anyone who parks on the bridge could receive a citation and have their vehicle towed, and added that anyone present at a street takeover could be cited as well.
Someone is going to get killed on that bridge. And that’s when the police and the city are going to get serious about cracking down on the illegal activity.