For most of its 22-mile length, the Marvin Braude Bike Trail carries bicyclists directly alongside the Pacific Ocean, providing exquisite seaside views and direct access to many of LA’s most popular beaches.
But for nearly four of those miles, riders must retreat inland to circle around the many basins of Marina del Rey. It’s a minor inconvenience, but one that has long irked Trevor Abramson, an avid cyclist and design principal at Abramson Teiger Architects.
“For years I’ve pondered what a solution could be,” he says.
Now, he’s come up with one—and it’s ambitious. The architectural firm revealed renderings this month for an enormous steel bridge that would cross the mouth of Marina del Rey, giving pedestrians and bicyclists a new path across both the harbor and neighboring Ballona Creek.
The project hasn’t been proposed by any government official or private developer, but Abramson says he drafted plans for the concept to try to attract public support and “start a dialogue” about the idea of a bridge across the marina.
“You have to start with some visionary thoughts to make something iconic happen,” he says.
The bridge would span roughly 1,400 feet and would have to rise more than 100 feet in height to allow boats to pass underneath. Lacking supportive columns, it would consist of two spiral ramps—one at each end—connected by a straight pathway. All this would be encased in a latticed steel shell arched across the waterway. (Abramson compares its design to that of a “hollow straw.”)
The structure would instantly become one of the most eye-catching pieces of coastal infrastructure in the area. Abramson is confident it could even become a “gateway to the city of LA,” should it ever be built.
“I have no idea how much money it would cost,” says Abramson (though he guesses it would be a lot).
Still, he’s hopeful that local officials might be more receptive to aspirational projects like this one in light of the city’s commitment to host the 2028 Summer Olympics.
By that time, work will be completed on an enormous new NFL stadium in Inglewood and Michael Maltzan’s wavy “Ribbon of Light” will have replaced LA’s iconic Sixth Street Viaduct. City boosters may not be able to resist one more civic monument to show off to the world when LA hosts its third Olympics.
“Miracles can happen,” Abramson says.