6th Street Viaduct Replacement Project breaks ground

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Los Angeles landmark is getting a facelift. City officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the 6th Street Viaduct Replacement Project Friday.

The arches spanning the L.A. river connecting Boyle Heights to downtown L.A. have been made famous in countless Hollywood blockbusters, from the car racing scene in "Grease" to an explosive fight between robots in "Transformers."

The 3,500-foot concrete span is a Los Angeles icon. But the 80-year-old bridge isn't holding up well. A chemical reaction in the concrete is causing the bridge to crack and break apart. Costly restorative methods have not worked, and the only option left was to rebuild.

"Unfortunately this iconic 6th Street bridge is fatally damaged," L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "This challenge represented to all of us a rare opportunity to build a modern landmark just as those who did before us to our contemporary traffic needs."

The $401 million project will be mostly funded by federal dollars. Construction should take three years to complete.

Watch Melissa MacBride's report on Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. above.

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