Crews to remove traffic lights for space shuttle Endeavour’s trip through South LA

Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen on launch pad 39a after the rollback of the Rotating Service Structure (RSS), Sunday, May 15, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

About 50 traffic signals will have to come down to clear the way for next month’s journey of the Space Shuttle Endeavour through the streets of South Los Angeles.

Crews will take down most of those traffic signals while the massive space ship is en route from LAX to its final destination at the California Science Center on Oct. 12-13, said the L.A. Department of Transportation's Jonathan Hui.

“As the shuttle gets closer and closer, those areas of the streets will be closed off and secured," Hui said. "And then as the shuttle passes, they’ll reinstall the traffic signals and then they’ll be able to reopen the streets.”

Hui said workers will also need to remove about three dozen “mast arms”- the metal rods that extend over the streets that traffic lights hang from. He said during Endeavour’s two-day, 12-mile trek, some engineers will work in the field while others direct operations from a traffic control hub.

The engineers in the hub will monitor traffic via closed circuit cameras and adjust signal timing to keep things on track, said Hui.

City transportation officials maintain they’ve planned everything down to the smallest detail, so their crews can stay ahead of Endeavour as the five-story, nearly 80-foot wide shuttle makes its way through the city streets.

Endeavour arrives at LAX on September 20.

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