The long-awaited Taylor Yard Bridge finally open, connecting the neighborhoods of Elysian Valley and Cypress Park for pedestrians and cyclists. Mayor Eric Garcetti presented the bright red structure with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Monday, marking a fresh path of movement for recreationists between the two areas with a tumultuous history.
While construction began in 2019, covid-related supply chain issues caused unexpected delays, which only added to the drawn-out project that began in the early 1990s. Taylor Yard Bridge will be the third bridge over the river in Northeast LA and forms part of a much larger revitalization project. And it’s another step towards linking the river’s bike path to the future 42-acre G2 River Park. There’s no doubt this will come as welcome news for cyclists, especially as gas prices surpass the $6 marks in L.A. County.
A symbol of unity and history
Dubbed “Rumblefish” by the architects SPF:a, this passageway acts as both a practical and symbolic gesture of unity between two communities. “Rumblefish” is taken from the Francis Coppola film about rival gangs and also references the area’s history as a battleground in L.A.
The firm—which is also responsible for the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, and the Getty Villa—designed the bridge to counter the river’s violent past as a border wall. Its midway point has two observation decks that jut out, one facing the north and one facing the south. It’s meant to offer a point of collision, contemplation for the community while simultaneously giving people a place to host events and exhibits.
Meanwhile, the uncomplicated steel structure also pays homage to the area’s industrial past, standing as an interpretation of the railroad bridges that once crossed the river. It also draws from the modernist Los Angeles Case Study Houses that characterized the city.
In addition to Taylor Yard Bridge, DTLA.’s first wildlife bridge is underway giving the city another harmonizing structure to look forward to.