Reconstructed Higuera Street bridge celebrated by city

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Wave Staff Report

CULVER CITY — City officials celebrated the opening of the reconstructed Higuera Street Bridge and the new connecting bike ramp to Ballona Creek Oct. 30.

Special guest U.S. Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove joined City Council members, staff, project team members and other guests to mark the completion of the project, which improves mobility safety, accessibility and connectivity in the city.

“I am glad to join Culver City leadership … to celebrate the opening of the new Higuera Street Bridge,” Kamlager-Dove said. “Thanks to almost $8 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Culver City residents are better connected to businesses and green space with safe paths for bicyclists and pedestrians. I will continue to work with state and local partners to bring home critical federal funds to support projects like these.”

The city completed replacement of the Higuera Street Bridge over Ballona Creek, located along Higuera Street between Eastham Drive and Jefferson Boulevard in May. The previous bridge was demolished in late 2021 and a new, wider bridge, with 27 additional feet, was constructed featuring significant improvements including protected bike lanes in both directions, widened sidewalks, a shaded overlook onto Ballona Creek, a new traffic lane in each direction, traffic signal upgrades at the intersection of Jefferson, Higuera and Obama Boulevard, new pavement and striping, fencing, and retaining walls, and a new access ramp to the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

The old Higuera Bridge, built in 1938, had been declared functionally obsolete by Los Angeles County bridge inspectors. Culver City took advantage of a grant opportunity with the Highway Bridge Program and began planning for the bridge replacement in 2008. One of the major project challenges was demolishing the old bridge and constructing the new one within the dry part of the year, as permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The final stage of construction was in fact delayed by heavy rains, but the bridge and ramp were opened May 16.

The city planned and oversaw completion of the project, working in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and the Army Corp of Engineers, which manage Ballona Creek, and with the state Department of Transportation, the state agency responsible for transportation infrastructure, as well as the city of Los Angeles. The agencies coordinated with the city to meet safety standards, provide technical expertise and facilitate the project.

Senior Civil Engineer Sammy Romo managed the project for the city. Contractor Ortiz Enterprises was the construction company responsible for the bridge replacement and bike ramp, both demolition and new construction. IDC Consulting provided design engineering for the project and Biggs Cardosa/Mark Thomas managed the project and provided inspection services.

Overall, the Higuera Bridge Replacement Project cost $11.1 million. That included $9.7 million for the bridge replacement ($1.4 million for design, $6.9 million for construction, and $1.4 million for construction management and inspection) and an additional $1.4 million for design and construction of the connecting ramp to the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

The bridge replacement was funded largely by a $7.9 million grant from the Federal Highway Bridge Program, with additional funding from local Culver City matching funds. The Federal Highway Bridge Program supports critical infrastructure enhancements and safety improvements on bridges across the country.

The connecting ramp to the Ballona Creek Bike Path was funded by a Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority grant, a Baldwin Hills and Urban Watersheds Conservancy Proposition 84 grant, and local matching funds.  

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