Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vincent Thomas Bridge Celebrates 50th Birthday

Although it doesn't look it, the Vincent Thomas Bridge at the Port of Los Angeles is turning 50 on November 15. Part beauty queen, part workhorse, the structure that connects Terminal Island to the mainland is also a major factor in the development of the region's ports into some of the world's largest.

Designated the city's official welcoming monument by the Los Angeles City Council in 1996, the bridge is notable for a number of reasons, including the following: it's the third largest suspension bridge in California, after the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge; it was the first welded (not riveted) suspension bridge in the U.S.; it was designed by Caltrans, which owns and operates it.

Maintaining the bridge requires continuous painting, requiring 1,500 gallons of zinc, 500 gallons of primer and 1,000 gallons of green paint to cover the span.

The San Pedro Chamber of Commerce will recognize the Vincent Thomas Bridge's birthday at a small ceremony on Thursday, November 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Port of Los Angeles Catalina Express Terminal. Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal as well as representatives from Caltrans, the port and the San Pedro Chamber will speak.