Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Mission 26 - The Big EndeavourLos Angeles: On Friday, October 12, around 2 a.m., Space Shuttle Endeavour will embark on one last mission, Mission 26. Endeavor will leave Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and travel through the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood to its final destination at the California Science Center. This will be one of the largest objects ever to be transported over city streets in Los Angeles history. The two-day journey of Endeavour is expected to draw viewers from across Southern California, and garner national interest from numerous media outlets.
Over the last few months, the California Science Center Foundation and various State and City Departments have worked with numerous governmental and private partners to plan for the safe movement of Endeavour. Due to the size and weight of Endeavour, careful consideration went into the planning stages. Planning involved identifying the least intrusive route, as well as minimizing traffic delays and business closures. Due to the size of the shuttle, there will be numerous rolling street and sidewalk closures. We ask that our residential and business communities remain patient, as the shuttle moves through their areas. Numerous community grassroots meetings have been held to answer questions and dispel rumors about the shuttle transport.
To make way for the shuttle, the Science Center worked with the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood to facilitate the temporary removal and re-installation of power lines, traffic signals and street lights as Endeavour traverses through these communities. In evaluating the route, priority was always given to preserving trees when possible. For every tree that will be removed, four trees of higher quality will be planted with additional improvements to beautify these areas. Two years of tree maintenance will also be provided by the California Science Center Foundation.
Additionally, prior to the shuttle’s movement on surface streets, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting will start removing identified street lights along the path. There will not be any long stretches without lights. Although some street lights will be temporarily removed along the route, sufficient lighting will remain as the shuttle zigzags through streets. Street lighting will be reinstalled with new brighter LED lighting, starting Friday, October 12 through Wednesday, October 17.
On October 13, the public will have an opportunity to view Endeavour as it moves through the City of Los Angeles and the City of Inglewood. Should you choose to view Endeavour along the route, the best viewing locations will be during the planned celebrations at Inglewood’s Forum parking lot, or at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Additionally, the public can view Endeavour during an extended transition period at Bill Robertson Lane at Exposition Park. Times and details of these planned viewing events will be released closer to Endeavour’s move.
“Building Endeavour was a marvel of ingenuity and engineering,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “Moving Endeavour will also be a marvel of ingenuity and engineering. Every step of the way, we have worked to mitigate the concerns of the community. Thanks to this hard work, we expect that the transportation of Endeavour will be celebrated as a truly unique event in our city’s history. We urge all those who are interested in viewing this once in a lifetime event to visit the shuttle at one of the designated viewing locations or at its new home at the California Science Center.”
It is anticipated that extremely large crowds will come from all over Southern California in an attempt to see the shuttle in its final miles through the streets of West and South Los Angeles. Visiting public must be aware that much of the shuttle route will contain closed streets and sidewalks, and limited parking due to public safety reasons. The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department cautions that these closures will likely result in significant traffic congestion and long delays in and out of the area.
- Lincoln Boulevard between Sepulveda Boulevard and Manchester Avenue
- Westchester Parkway between Sepulveda Boulevard and Airport Boulevard
- La Tijera between Sepulveda Boulevard Manchester Avenue
- Manchester Avenue between La Tijera Boulevard and Crenshaw Drive (City of Inglewood)
- Manchester Boulevard between (Inglewood Forum) and Crenshaw Drive
- Crenshaw Drive between Manchester Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard
- Crenshaw Boulevard between Manchester Boulevard and Martin Luther King Boulevard
- Martin Luther King Boulevard Between Crenshaw Boulevard Figueroa Avenue