Shuttlewatch 2012: Preparing the Route for Endeavour

Flyers mark trees for removal along Crenshaw Blvd. (photo: sahra)

Riding down Crenshaw Blvd. yesterday, I was surprised to see every single tree had a flyer attached to it.

At first I thought that perhaps the Birdman of Silverlake was expanding his empire. Flyering trees and telephone poles is his specialty, after all.

But, no, it was just the Bureau of Street Services letting residents know that the trees along Crenshaw Blvd. were going to be removed to make way for the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Some time this fall, the Endeavour will slowly make its way from LAX to the California Science Center. During the thirteen-hour journey, the shuttle will move along La Tijera Blvd. to Manchester Ave., turn north onto Crenshaw Blvd. and then head east on MLK Blvd., toward its final resting place.

Because it is almost 6 stories high and sports a 78 foot wing-span, low-hanging wires, street signs, and trees will all have to be removed for it to pass. 250 trees, to be exact, according to the Bureau.

Like the street signs and wires, the trees will be replaced once the Endeavour passes through. Although, probably not with the same speed and urgency as the stop lights.

The cost of decommissioning, transporting, and housing the Endeavour in a new wing at the Science Center is approximately $200 million. The expectation is that the effort will be entirely financed by private donations. A gift from The Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation covers almost half those costs, but more donations are apparently still needed.

The permits for the removal of the trees have not yet been approved, so there is no word on when the removal will begin. The Bureau estimated the permits will likely be approved in the next 30 days. At that point, a hearing will be scheduled. Residents with questions about the hearing on their removal may check here or call (213) 847-3077 to find out more information.