Monday, February 2, 2009

Thirty Years Later, Valley Boulevard Bridge Opens

One of the most important campaign promises I made when I was first running for office in 2005 was to finish the Valley Boulevard Bridge at the problematic train crossing between Eastern and Marianna Avenues in El Sereno. In 2006, funding slipped away for this vital project that had first been proposed more than 30 years ago. It looked like it might not ever get completed. Fortunately, I was able to convince the MTA to reinstate the multimillion dollar project and to get them to commit $9 million in supplemental funding, which the City matched. On Tuesday, elected officials, artists and community members joined me for the official opening of the eastbound lanes. Through the years, the long waits for residents, commuters and fire and police officials proved to be agonizing, as freight trains came by approximately 30 times per day – not to mention the blaring horns of the trains and the pollution caused by idling cars. Artwork incorporating the history of El Sereno with photos blended into beautiful ceramic tile work, as well as limestone and Byzantine Glass monuments honoring icons, such as musicians Lalo Guerrero and Eddie Cano, will be an important part of the bridge linking the San Gabriel Valley with downtown Los Angeles. When it is completed in 2010, it’ll mean a turning point for El Sereno: and something that was a source of frustration for decades will now be a source of pride. Congratulations to All!