A big thank you to all the folks who showed up to our Valley Bridge Opening in El Sereno. The $54 million bridge, which links the San Gabriel Valley with Downtown Los Angeles, is now fully functional and ends a 35-year struggle for a much-needed solution to the 30 train crossings per day that adversely affected residents, commuters and emergency personnel. In 2006, the project was shelved by Metro and I and my staff spent several months working to convince Metro that the City was serious about getting this project done. We also got them to agree to put in $9 million, which the City matched to bring the project to fruition. I want to thank our City partners in helping getting this done, notably the Department of Public Works and BOE. But mostly, I want to thank all the people of El Sereno and its surrounding communities for never giving up and making sure that once and for all, El Sereno received a bridge that it needed and could be proud of. On hand yesterday were Luanna Allard and the Hillside Village Property Owners Association, as well as representatives from L.A.-32 Neighborhood Council; The El Sereno Bicentennial Committee; University Hills Homeowners Association; Rose Hill Review; El Sereno Chamber of Commerce and a host of other community members. The El Sereno Middle School Marching Band provided fantastic entertainment and Los Angeles Fire Department Station 16 sounded the sirens as they drove across the bridge, reminding us all why the bridge’s unimpeded access is not just about convenience, but our community’s safety.