Street takeovers and wheelie contests force closures on iconic Los Angeles bridge

Jul 28, 2022, 3:15 PM
Los Angeles, CA - July 27:Skid marks cover many portions to the new 6th street bridge in Los Angele...
Los Angeles, CA - July 27:Skid marks cover many portions to the new 6th street bridge in Los Angeles, CA Wednesday, July 27, 2022. The LAPD has put more enforcement on the bridge to help cut down on street take-overs, tagging, cruising and other problems since the opening of the new bridge. (Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

(CNN) — Authorities have been forced to intermittently close Los Angeles’ iconic 6th street bridge four times in five days for various illegal activity, including street takeovers, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The viaduct, built in 1932, was closed in 2016 for upgrades to the seismically deficient structure. The $588 million in improvements were deemed the largest bridge project in the history of the city, and it re-opened on July 10 to much fanfare.

Mayor Eric Garcetti called the bridge “a new landmark that represents the tenacity, beauty, and promise that defines Los Angeles” in a news release before the reopening.

But since its reopening, the bridge has been plagued by street racing and other illegal activity, police say.

On July 22, the bridge was closed due to public safety hazards, the LAPD said in a press release listing the antics on the bridge. Midday July 23, “approximately 15 moped/street bike racers were conducting wheelies on the bridge, as an exhibition of speed,” according to police. Anticipating a street takeover, police responded and did not need to close the bridge.

That night, police closed the bridge “due to unruly crowds and vehicle takeovers,” the LAPD said. On July 24, the bridge was closed to vehicles after a large group of trucks showed up, impeded traffic and “appeared to be setting up for a street takeover,” police said.

Days later, a bicyclist shined a laser pointer in an officer’s eyes. The suspect fled the scene while a group of bicyclists “continued to block traffic and perform stunts,” prompting another closure, police said.

The officer was medically treated and later released.

The bridge closed again on Wednesday “due to illegal activity and public safety concerns,” the LAPD said in a tweet.

The department’s Street Racing Task Force and local divisions are working to curb illegal activity on the bridge.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore addressed the police commission during its weekly meeting on Tuesday and called the bridge a destination site, comparing its allure with other spots like the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Concert Hall and Venice Beach. The structure, nicknamed the “Ribbon of Light,” features 10 LED-lit arches.

However, the bridge has become a backdrop where people gather for exhibitions, “outrageous driving antics” while trying to “perhaps find their 15 minutes of fame,” Moore said, noting the whiplash of opening and closing the bridge.

In one viral social media stunt, a barber set up a chair and gave haircuts on the bridge, poised between oncoming traffic in both directions, according to CNN affiliate KABC-TV.

Last Sunday, the Bureau of Street Services began installing speed bumps on the bridge and fencing to “discourage individuals from scaling onto the arches of this roadway,” Moore said.

Scenes from the movies “Grease” and “Terminator 2: Judgement Day” and a host of others shot race scenes under the bridge in the Los Angeles River.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

A 29-year old woman has been arrested after allegedly posing as a teenager and attending classes at...
Kiely Westhoff and Zoe Sottile, CNN

29-year-old woman posed as high school teen facing charges in New Jersey, police say

A 29-year-old New Jersey woman is facing charges over claims she used false government documents in a ploy to pose as a teenager at a high school, according to police.
15 hours ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago on November ...
Meg Kinnard and Michelle L. Price

Trump says beating of Nichols ‘never should have happened’

Former President Donald Trump says the footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by five Memphis police officers is “horrible” and that the attack “never should have happened.”
2 days ago
One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
2 days ago
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 7:  Police investigate the scene of a reported carjacking reportedly...
Adrian Sainz

Memphis police disband unit that fatally beat Tyre Nichols

The Memphis Police Department has disbanded the special unit whose officers beat to death motorist Tyre Nichols
2 days ago
Demonstrators participate in a protest against the police killing of Tyre Nichols on January 27, 20...
Adrian Sainz, Associated Press

Memphis authorities release video in Tyre Nichols’ death

Video showing five Memphis officers beating Tyre Nichols, a Black man, has been made public.
3 days ago
An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacie...
Jordan Valinsky

CVS and Walmart cut pharmacy hours, close some locations earlier, citing staffing shortage

An apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce the hours of its pharmacies, as they close earlier in thousands of locations.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Street takeovers and wheelie contests force closures on iconic Los Angeles bridge