Bridge over troubled cities

first_imgPICO RIVERA – The city councils of Pico Rivera and Montebello met in a sometimes lively joint meeting Wednesday evening to hear a briefing by Los Angeles County officials on possible options for rebuilding the fire-destroyed Beverly Boulevard bridge. While Montebello Mayor Bill Molinari insisted on a rapid resolution for a temporary bridge, Pico Rivera councilmembers resisted being pushed into a decision without sufficient information as to cost and reimbursement.The cities co-own the bridge,but Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works will administer the rebuilding process. Dave Pilker, head of the City Services Programs Development Division of the County’s Department of Public Works,detailed the costs, permits and time frames involved with three possible rebuilding choices. Pilker said the choices included building a temporary bridge, building one lane from the Pico Rivera side to what’s left of the existing bridge or to build a completely new bridge. After Pilker cited a 12-month or longer construction period for either a one-lane solution or a new bridge, Montebello Mayor Bill Molinari strongly urged the temporary bridge solution.“A 12-month closure is not acceptable,” Molinari said. “We should check with the military or other private companies to see if someone has a bridge. The Santa Monica Freeway (that was destroyed after the 1994 Northridge earthquake) didn’t have to wait on all these processes.”But Tome Melendrez, deputy city engineer for Montebello, said no one from the military was available to help him and the Army Corps of Engineers had no knowledge of temporary military bridges.A company called Ascrow Bridge offered to ship “used” bridge sections and steel supports from New Jersey in 10 days, said Melendrez in a memo to City Manager Richard Torres. He said a separated contract to build temporary wood timber foundations and erect the steel bridge would take 1-2 weeks.Although the tone remained cordial, at several points Pico Rivera councilmembers resist-ed Molinari’s determination, saying Montebello was being unreasonable with the two-week time frame. Pico Rivera Mayor David Armenta appealed for both cities to share all information and to invite each other to any meetings regarding the bridge.“This is going to take until next year,” Armenta said. “Let’s share facts so that we can act more reasonably. It’s important to get all the information in order to finalize what options are available. We must look at other options besides the temporary bridge.” Officials agreed by the end of the meeting that engineers and attorneys for both cities would meet with Public Works representatives immediately to answer some of the logistical questions posed by the councils. Ever since fire decimated the Pico Rivera end of the bridge over the Rio Hondo channel last week, county and city officials have been scrambling to deal with the logistical and economic fallout from losing one of three main thoroughfares through Pico Rivera and Montebello. [email protected](562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more