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History Dragging the Sixth Street Viaduct

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,445


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Dragging the Sixth Street Viaduct


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    Ever since I first saw Grease 40+ years ago, I've always thought that was the coolest thing. BTW, I never liked Zuko's car, I was pulling for the Merc ;)
    Hotdoggin DaddyO likes this.
  3. Beautiful photos!
  4. He had a tripod, is it visible in one of the shots, also looks like a Rolicord twin lens camera, a favorite of many a photojournalist at the time. By looking at the length of the taillights it seems he was shooting at a two second shutter, it didn't see a bunch of grain so the film wasn't pushed or he, if I remember right, used Ectafine developer for the 1000 ASA. Great images and I am sure not a 'normal' subject matter for the magazine.
    Rolleiflex and jnaki like this.

  5. Although being just a mere lad of 8 or 9 years old at the time of the article, I remember the area very well and it's negative notoriety. My dad was employed as a diesel mechanic for L.A. Tractor, who were contracted to do, at least part of, the paving of the river bed.Their yard was located between the river bed and Soto St. on the north side of Olympic Blvd, a few blocks south of the 6th Avenue Bridge. Fond memories of going to work with him during the summer months and the occasional Saturday's. Liability law's and insurance company's were a lot easier to get along with back then!
    jimgoetz likes this.
  6. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    from SW Wyoming

    Go Greased Lightning
    Hope you land on the Scrap Pile

    Nice pics!
  7. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

  8. I have to admit that the wife breaks into a hysterical laughter any time I bring up the fact that the L.A. River is paved and only used for flood control. She's a native of Arkansas and has spent her life living near the banks of the Arkansas River which is where I have spent my last 25 years.
  9. flatford8
    Joined: Dec 12, 2012
    Posts: 137

    from Lyman,ME.

    Great pics!!!.....Love the light streaks!!!......Mark
  10. HelmuthBrothers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2007
    Posts: 720

    from New Jersey

    Man. This is incredible.
  11. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,991


    Hey JB,

    Thank you for highlighting this portion of LA history. We have all seen countless movies and TV shows with the action taking place between these two famous bridges in the Los Angeles flood control viaduct channel.

    We have driven over that 4th Street Bridge and the 6th Street Bridge countless times. My dad always took the freeway from Long Beach and got off on the 4th street exit. That was the quickest way into downtown LA. We have been introduced to the bridge since 1949, all the way up until he retired in 1983. Freeway access is knowledge in LA traffic and he was always knowledgeable about where to drive and get through to the downtown areas.

    The 4th Street Bridge is the main bridge we see in the TV shows and most movies. The 6th Street Bridge has been reborn and does not look like the famous 4th Street Bridge. Yes, most of the photos in the spread are below the area between the two bridges. (Check out the curved bridge arches of the 6th vs the classic huge posts of the 4th St Bridge. ) But, parts of the movie have been taken down in the viaduct between and near the 6th Street Bridge. Those views are now gone since the new 6th Street Bridge is completely different looking. 4th to 6th street bridge information.


    The emptiness of the dry bed is offset by the rushing channel in the middle. It looks fun, but one slight handling error causes a problem. Also, there are no exits, if the entrances are blocked off by the local police. It becomes only a trap down in the concrete channel. Finally, those concrete channels give the rushing water during the heavy rains somewhere to go without flooding the whole South Coast area of So Cal.

    So, despite the barrenness of the channel, it does help flooding the low lying areas from inland LA to the ocean in Long Beach. The area near our Westside of Long Beach house was not paved from Willow Street to the harbor/ocean. That was left in a natural state with white sands, bushes, ponds, and usually, a small meandering stream in the middle. It made for a great place to pretend army/war adventures in the sand dunes and bushes. During the winter rains, every bit of the small channel was flooded and the water rushed out to the ocean.

    But, the concrete viaduct is the same for miles.

    An excerpt from a previous HAMB post:

    I am sure there are people that have driven on that channel, but it was too long of a drive for us to constantly drive up there to race from Long Beach location. If the local streets were empty (usually were empty), with no chance to get the ever present moving violations, why drive approximately 20 miles one way just to get trapped?

    Plus, if one happens to slide over a few feet near the middle channel, the dropoff in the channel is 2.33 feet deep in most of the LA City limits. (4th and 6th Street Bridge areas) Back where we lived in Compton/Long Beach area, it is 1 foot deep. That would cause instant flips and crashes.

    “The middle concrete channel (we call it Low Flow) in the LA River is 2.33 feet deep from Southern Ave. to Rosecrans Ave. It is 1 foot deep from Rosecrans to Willow Ave.” (in the Westside Long Beach)
    Reference: LA County Public Works customer service…

    upload_2019-2-21_3-34-36.png The old 6th St. Bridge
    The new 6th St. Bridge in the foreground, the old 4th Street Bridge in the middle of the photo, still holding cars, movie action scenes and LA history from the early days. 4th street and 6th street bridge

  12. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,630


    That is really cool.
  13. LBCD
    Joined: Oct 28, 2009
    Posts: 1,032


    The view from my shop, I’m a 1/4” mile up river from the 4th st Bridge just past the Caesar Chavez bridge. It rained last night so there is some water run off today.
    A Co worker of mine has driven his 56 Chevy down there on a few occasions and invited me to go but I couldn’t make of these days I will get down there. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    jnaki likes this.

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