Sixth Street Bridge reopens to traffic after another closure prompted by 'illegal activity'

LAPD Chief Michel Moore told ABC7 one officer was injured Tuesday night after a green laser was pointed at his eye.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Sixth Street Bridge reopens after another shutdown by LAPD
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LAPD Chief Michel Moore told ABC7 one officer was injured Tuesday night after a green laser was pointed at his eye.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Sixth Street Viaduct was reopened to traffic Wednesday morning after another overnight closure prompted by what the Los Angeles Police Department described as "illegal activity and public safety concerns."

Tuesday night's shutdown was announced by the LAPD shortly after 9 p.m. At the time, the duration of the closure was said to be "until further notice."

It was the fourth time in five nights that police decided to close the $588 million bridge, which opened to the public on July 10 and connects Boyle Heights and the downtown Arts District.

An LAPD spokesperson told ABC7 that the bridge was closed Tuesday night after about 100 bicyclists descended on the viaduct and someone caused a safety concern. No citations or arrest were announced.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore spoke with Eyewitness News about the incident and said one officer was injured after a green laser was pointed at his eye.

"As we denied access to [the bicyclists,] car enthusiasts then showed up and in the process of this, an officer was injured - the eight attack this month - with a green laser," he said.

Moore said the officer's condition is unknown.

The officer has since been placed on leave as he receives treatment, Moore said.

"These actions are not just a public display, not just reckless and endangering themselves, but they're endangering our people and they're endangering others, and this has got to stop," Moore said.

WATCH: Officer injured during Sixth Street Bridge shutdown, LAPD chief says

The bridge, which opened to the public on July 10, was also closed overnight Saturday due to a traffic collision involving a pickup parked in a no-parking zone that was struck by another vehicle.

In the days since it opened, several street takeovers have been reported on the viaduct, which connects Boyle Heights and the downtown Arts District and replaced one of the city's most iconic structures -- an earlier bridge that also drew its fair share of stunts'' during its more than 80-year history.

"When people come with the intentions to raise havoc and cause disruptions or somehow showcase themselves, then we're going to take action," said Moore. "It's going to be incremental. As we demonstrated, we can open the bridge, shut down the bridge, we are taking enforcement actions. People are being arrested, citations are being issued, cars are being impounded, and people are going to face consequences."

Video on social media from last weekend showed drivers spinning their wheels and performing other antics on the bridge, leaving the pavement scarred.

Some people even crawled onto the ribbon-like arches that line the bridge to get elevated views of the action.

"Everybody wants to come and see the bridge, and I guess everybody has the opportunity, but when it comes to those moments, it just ruins it for everyone," said Majaira Pliego, a Compton resident who visited the bridge on Wednesday.

Other isolated incidents have included a man getting a hair cut in the middle of the bridge Wednesday and another shadow boxing while wearing a red cape.

The driver of a car involved in a July 18 crash abandoned the damaged Dodge Charger on the bridge and fled on foot.

The chief said preventive measures are in the works for the bridge, including possible installation of speed bumps to prevent speeding and spinouts.

"This is not going to be a police solution alone," said Moore.

City officials have indicated that fencing is being considered to prevent people from climbing the archways that line the bridge, along with the installation of surveillance cameras.

A City Council committee is expected to discuss the bridge issues Wednesday afternoon.

City News Service contributed to this report.