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Portion of Sunset Blvd. to close for hospital bridge installation

October 25, 2012 |  2:38 pm

Childrens hospital bridge
The 340-ton "Levitated Mass" rock rolled through Southern California in March and the 78-ton space shuttle Endeavour made its grand entrance on city streets earlier this month.

On Friday, the 40-ton "Bridge over Sunset" will make a journey of its own through Hollywood as workers install a 117-foot walkway across Sunset Boulevard to connect two sections of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Sunset Boulevard and several nearby streets will be closed during the 13 hours it takes to move and then erect the footbridge on steel support structures on both sides of the boulevard.

Hospital officials said traffic will be rerouted starting at 9 p.m. Friday when the span is lifted by crane and placed on dolly trailers at a parking lot at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Hillhurst Avenue. The bridge will then be towed three-tenths of a mile to the site near the corner of Sunset and Vermont Avenue.

Streets will be reopened as the bridge is towed south on Hillhurst and west on Sunset, said hospital spokesman Lorenzo Benet.

A 300-ton crane will lift the bridge 41 feet above Sunset, where it will be bolted and welded into place, Benet said. Sunset Boulevard traffic between Vermont and Rodney Drive is expected to reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The footbridge is scheduled to open to hospital staff members, patients and their families in February.

The $9-million span has been designed by Zimmer, Gunsel & Frasca, which is designing the building that will house the Endeavour at the California Science Center. The hospital is also using the same traffic control company during Friday's move that managed traffic during the Endeavour's journey through Los Angeles.

Funding for the bridge has been donated by former hospital Board of Trustees head Marion Anderson and honorary board member Cheryl Saban and their husbands, John E. Anderson and Haim Saban, officials said.

The span will connect the hospital's two main facilities, the Anderson Pavilion on the south side of Sunset and the Saban Research Institute on the north side. When finished, it will be enclosed with a glass façade and its supports covered with brick.

"This walkway will not only protect staff and families from the traffic but it will let anyone driving down Sunset know they are driving through a gateway to the best children's hospital in California," said Richard Cordova, the hospital's president.


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-- Bob Pool

Photo: Artist's rendering of a walkway that will be installed over Sunset Boulevard. Credit: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles