As a series of dangerous speed maneuvers continue on the new 6th Street Viaduct Bridge in downtown Los Angeles, speed bumps are being installed and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is urging the public to remain vigilant to help an already overwhelmed police force.
Tuesday night LAPD shut down the bridge again in an effort to prevent crime. The closure will last “until further notice” due to illegal activity, LAPD tweeted.
“We’re not going to arrest our way out of this,” Moore said Tuesday at a police commission meeting. “Despite the hundreds of impounds and citations and arrests, we still see the proliferation of this. So I’m asking for the public’s help and support and assistance.”
Speed bumps are being installed as city officials hope to mitigate the crimes. A center median and fencing to discourage people from scaling the archways could also be installed soon on a temporary basis, according to Moore.
The $588 million bridge, which opened to the public on July 10 and connects Boyle Heights and the downtown Arts District, was closed Sunday night for the third night in a row for what the Los Angeles Police Department characterized as “illegal activity.”
Police have made more than 57 citations and impounded six vehicles over the last four days, according to Moore.
Moore said the bridge has become known as a place where people come to “find their 15 minutes of fame” by climbing onto the bridge’s infrastructure, interrupting traffic and posting demonstrations on social media.
The majority of illegal activity is committed by people who are not from the surrounding community, according to Moore.
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.
Other isolated incidents have included a man getting a haircut in the middle of the bridge last 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 incidents are “drawing finite resources, limited resources away from more pressing duties to ensure the safety of this location,” Moore said.
Overall, police have documented 657 street takeovers in Los Angeles so far this year. They have made 352 misdemeanor arrests, impounded 439 cars and issued more than 2,000 citations related to street racing and takeovers.
The opening of the Sixth Street Viaduct marked a key milestone in a construction project that began in 2016 to replace a 1932-vintage structure.
The original bridge was an iconic Los Angeles landmark, seen in movies including “Grease” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” but its aging structure was deteriorating, leaving it seismically unsound.