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Space shuttle Endeavour: Board to decide on tree removal

Tree

The Los Angeles Board of Public Works is expected to decide Monday whether to allow roughly 260 trees to be removed from city streets to make room for the space shuttle Endeavour as it's transported to the California Science Center.

Museum officials will present to the board their tentative plans for the move, a two-day, 12-mile trek that will follow Manchester Boulevard to Crenshaw Drive, then onto Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

To make way for the 57-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide shuttle, several provisions have been made. Street signs and light poles will be temporarily moved. Power lines will be raised.

PHOTOS: Space shuttle Endeavour

But the removal of the trees — about 400 in all, including 128 in Inglewood — has some community members worried. The California Science Center will plant two new trees for each one removed, but some residents fear the young replacements will pale in comparison to their predecessors and further depreciate property value.

Some neighborhood councils said they planned to bus residents to Monday's meeting. If the board approves the Science Center's plan, the trees could begin to come down as early as this week.

The space shuttle, awarded to the Exposition Park museum by NASA last year, is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on the back of a modified Boeing 747 on Thursday. It will be housed in a hangar at Los Angeles International Airport until Oct. 12, when the two-day trek through the city's streets will begin.

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-- Angel Jennings and Kate Mather

Photo: A landscaping crew cuts down a tree on Manchester Boulevard to clear the way for the space shuttle Endeavour when it makes its journey from Los Angeles International to its new home in Exposition Park. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times

 
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