Photo by Evan via Flickr
Photo by Evan via Flickr

Taxpayers of the 1930s footed the bill, but current residents will see the return on the investment when Los Angeles officials dole out chunks of the demolished Sixth Street Viaduct Saturday.

The first thousand or so people who show up to a Rock Day L.A. fair in the Arts District may acquire a piece of the 84-year-old bridge, which was weakened structurally by an alkali-silica reaction in its concrete.

The span is being replaced with a $449 million bridge designed by architect Michael Maltzan.

The commemorative pieces will be handed out at 585 S. Santa Fe Ave., west of the Los Angeles River. The event will feature musical performances by middle and high school rock bands, food trucks and a booth explaining the science behind the alkali-silica reaction.

The chemical reaction — which causes expansion and cracking in concrete — occurs over time in the presence of sufficient moisture.

The souvenir rocks range in size, though none are bigger than a softball, and will be given out along with certificates authenticating them as once being a part of the bridge.

Other remnants of the current bridge, including one of the arches and several light poles, will be incorporated in public areas being planned near the park. This includes a soccer field and an arts plaza.

City demolition crews are in the process of taking apart the old bridge. The new bridge is expected to be completed in 2019.

—City News Service

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