'It's surreal!' Couple over the moon after proposal on 6th Street Bridge

A local couple is elated after getting engaged on the newly reopened Sixth Street Bridge.

The viaduct opened on July 9, connecting Boyle Heights to the downtown arts district, and Joan Zamora and Ray Peña went to the bridge the day after, on July 10.

"I've been waiting for the Sixth Street Bridge to open since it closed, and we just went together [on July 10] and then I decided to take my tripod and take some pictures and when I was taking pictures, he [Peña] dropped down on one knee and proposed. I wasn't expecting it. It was out of nowhere and I was just so surprised," said Zamora.

Another proposal took place at the bridge following theirs, and it has also served as the backdrop for other special moments like a quinceañera photo shoot.

However, the bridge has also been riddled with bad behavior and illegal activities like street takeovers, crashes and vandalism. The Los Angeles City Council's Public Works Committee recommended Wednesday that the council approve $706,000 to remove graffiti and provide other maintenance on the Sixth Street Bridge.

Zamora said she is not surprised by the behavior, having grown up in LA County, and hearing about similar incidents on the previous bridge in the past.

"There are so many people talking bad about the neighborhood and how people are behaving on it but it should also reflect on how there was bad planning on their [city officials] part as well," she said.


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City officials now plan to add speed bumps, fencing and a median to try to crack down on the problems.

The city Bureau of Engineering has said future plans call for the downtown side of the bridge to include a rain garden, a planted seating area, a play and performance lawn, a sculpture garden, a meadow, a dog play area, an adult fitness section, café and restrooms, a sloped river gateway, an urban forest and terraces.

On the Boyle Heights side, the park's plans include a skateboard area; a meadow; a picnic area; a synthetic turf soccer field; flexible courts sized for basketball, futsal and volleyball; a play and performance lawn; a children's play area; a promenade; a landscaped seating area; an adult fitness area; a rain garden; a dog play area and grilling spaces.

Despite the trouble, Zamora believes the bridge is iconic and an important part of the landscape, and she is glad her proposal took place there, and they will now plan for their wedding.

"I love the bridge. I love LA so I was like what's more perfect? To me, that [proposal] was perfect. It would be cool if we could get married on the bridge but I know it's ridiculous but I don't know how to top that honestly, but I hope for a big wedding within a budget," said Zamora.