UPDATE 7:57 p.m. The Colfax Bridge still has a few minor repairs that need to be finished before it can be declared open, a representative of Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said last night to the Studio City Neighborhood Council.
Neighborhood council members have had numerous concerns with the bridge in the past, stemming all the way back to the first meetings about the structure in 2001.
Some of these concerns were related to the safety of the railings, while others were concerns about the aesthetics of the bridge. Lisa Sarkin, vice president of the SCNC, has been one of the more vocal critics of how the building of the bridge has been handled.
"We want the bridge to fit into the history of Studio City; that was the point of the 19 meetings we have had with them since 2001," Sarkin said in December 2010, according to .
"This is exactly why the residents in the area are frustrated and don't want to come out to have any more meetings."
However, none of the neighborhood council members had comment for Geoffrey Yazzetta, a field duty representing Krekorian's office, at the meeting last night.
Jeremy Oberstein, a spokesman for the councilman's office, said that the frustrations over the bridge have been felt on both sides.
"We've worked with many local groups, many local businesses to try to speed this project along. Frustration has certainly been developing. On our end, it's been frustrating as well," Oberstein said.
"This is a project that while it will be complete before the contractors last estimates, it's still something that has taken a bit longer than expected."
The railings, lookouts and necessary welding on the bridge are all complete, according to a release from Krekorian's office. These areas have also been painted with weather resistant paint.
Staircases and a ramp on the southeast corner of the bridge that accommdate people with disabilities are close to being finished, according to the release. Work on similar structures on the northeast corner of the bridge will begin next month and will take two to three weeks.
Yazzetta was aware of the frustrations many on the neighborhood council and in the community had with the handling of the bridge's construction.
"I know everyone has been clamoring for this date, as have I," said Yazzetta. "We want to open this thing up. … We're looking at one to two weeks."
However, he noted that the repairs that were still need were important enough to keep the bridge closed for the time being.
Among the items needing repair was a utility pipe at the north end of the the bridge that was pinched by the roots of a tree growing there. The damage would make it impossible to run electrical wires through it and power lights on the bridge.
Yazzetta said one option the contractor working on the bridge gave for fixing the pipe was to dig it out and replace all of it; whereas a more difficult option would be trying to replace just a section of the pipe.
Work to finish the bridge's storm drain will also push back the opening date, Yazzetta said.
The bridge must also undergo a final inspection before vehicles are allowed on the roadway.
Yazzetta reminded the Neighborhood Council that the contractual completion date for the bridge is not until Oct. 18.
"Despite all of the issues we've been having with this bridge, we're still going to be opening it ahead of schedule," he said. "We're going to get it open soon."