Sunset Boulevard bridge meet hoe ram…hoe ram meet Sunset Boulevard bridge

A hoe ram at work on the Flower Street bridge over the 110 freeway in downtown Los Angeles.

With working beginning Friday night to prepare the Sunset Boulevard bridge over the 405 for demolition, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s website takes a deeper look at the work to come. The bridge work is part of the widening of the 405 to add a northbound carpool lane between the Santa Monica and Ventura freeways.

Yaroslavsky, of course, is also a member of the Board of Directors of Metro.

So for the demolition work, they’re bringing in a destruction tool called the “hoe ram”—a crane with a massive jackhammer attached. The contractor is “basically going to break the bridge apart with a huge jackhammer,” says Mark Van Gessel, Metro’s manager for the Sunset segment.

The work will take place in phases—between 6 and 9 nights of demolition followed by 10 months of construction on the southern end of the bridge, with a repeat of the same pattern on the northern side when the first half is finished. In all, some 12,000 tons of concrete will come down, to be pulverized onsite and recycled as “crushed miscellaneous base” and used as a building material on the project.

This is just a chunk of a much longer article that seems optimistic that the new bridge — 120 feet wide compared to 90 feet at present — should help traffic flow better in the area. It’s a good read and worth checking out. Here’s a link to the project website.

And while on Yaroslavsky’s website, you may also want to read his recent blog post on his views that no more oil leases should be sold for oil drilling along the California coast.