Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Doubting Vincent Thomas



A few years ago I ranted here about the fact that most Angelenos don't know the name of our city's tallest building (also known as the tallest building west of the Mississippi). It doesn't help that the skyscraper has shifted names from the Library Tower to the First Interstate World Center back to the Library Tower and now to the U.S. Bank Tower.

But I digress. I have another one: I've asked several people in recent days if they know what the Vincent Thomas Bridge is, and where it's located.

I've gotten mostly blank stares in response.

C'mon, people! As most of you know, Los Angeles can lay claim to the state's third largest suspension bridge (behind some "Golden Gate" thingy up north, and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge).

The Vincent Thomas Bridge -- yeah, that emerald suspension bridge in San Pedro -- was back in the news this week after a cargo ship crane struck it. Luckily, notes the L.A. Times, the damage was minimal:

Officials said the four-lane bridge, which connects San Pedro and Terminal Island, was closed for inspection about 4:45 p.m., shortly after the incident was reported. California Department of Transportation engineers were dispatched to the scene but found only slight damage to a catwalk beneath the bridge, said Theresa Adams Lopez, a spokeswoman for the Port of Los Angeles.

There were no reported injuries.

According to the Port of Los Angeles' Vincent Thomas Bridge website, the structure is also the first welded (not riveted) suspension bridge in the United States, and the only suspension bridge in the world supported entirely on piles.

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