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.

  • Davistrain

    I’m reminded of the time Howard Hughes’ flying boat aircraft (Mr. Hughes named it the “Hercules”; he reportedly detested the “Spruce Goose” nickname) was moved to the LA Harbor for its first and last flight test.  There was a movie showing scenes from the move, and one shot showed a Pacific Electric interurban car and a pair of “tower trucks”–the PE trolley wire had to be taken down to clear the aircraft.  One can imagine a worker explaining to the boss why he was late.  “The Red Car was delayed; it had to stop and let an airplane go by.”

    Regarding the upcoming project: I’ve already offered to take my brother to Exposition Park
     on the Expo Line–his engineering team designed the hydraulic system for the Space Shuttle landing gear, worked fine every time! 

  • Some time this fall, the Endeavour will slowly make its way from LAX to the California Science Center. ” 

    The weekend after CicLAvia. CicLAvia moved up a week early to accommodate the shuttle move. 

  •  That’s what I heard on pages about CicLAvia, but I haven’t been able to find any independent confirmation of this fact, so I’m actually slightly worried that CicLAvia may have been moved for nothing.  (I was looking because my parents had already made plans to come that weekend for CicLAvia, and I was hoping to at least offer them the consolation of seeing the shuttle move.)  At any rate, this seems like the sort of thing where there could easily be last-minute changes in when all the logistics come together (like a shuttle launch).

  • Sahra and I talked about this line this morning.  We haven’t heard an official date for the shuttle, only what CicLAvia reported.  I’m sure the city will make a big splashy announcement when it’s finalized.  I have been told that the weekend of 10/14 was the earliest they could do it logistically, but that plans to move the shuttle weren’t finalized.  The CicLAvia team was being good team players moving the event BEFORE any potential conflicts could arise.

  • Waltarrrrr

    250 trees??? That’s awful. There has to be a better way. 

  • kexiao

  • OOOOh!  I wish I could see the transport!

  • Tammy K

     violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which may have been skirted over to fast track the space shuttle’s move to the Center.

  • sahra

     Interesting. I wonder if they got past that by promising to replant? It’s not an even trade, but might have been enough?


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