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Shuttle Endeavour temporarily delayed as it makes tight squeeze

October 13, 2012 | 11:44 am

Endeavour took just under five minutes to move from Manchester Boulevard onto Crenshaw Drive, the wheels of its computerized transporters turning perpendicular to Crenshaw as it navigated the turn.

Moments earlier, police ushered a crowd back 50 feet. "The shuttle cannot make the turn!" An officer warned via loudspeaker.

But the shuttle did, and proceeded to crawl up Crenshaw past several apartment complexes before it was forced to stop just in front of 84th Place. A tree trunk stood in the way.  Because of the curve of the road, the left wing of the shuttle couldn't clear the trunk.

FULL COVERAGE: Endeavour's move through L.A.

Crews began inching the wheels of the transporter back and fourth, and the rear wheels of the rear transporter moved over driveways. As workers continued to try to maneuver around the problem tree, they began trimming low-hanging branches from a second tree nearby.

On Crenshaw, hundreds of spectators gathered on side streets and rooftops to watch the spectacle.

After a 20-minute delay, the shuttle was rolling again.

PHOTOS: Endeavour rolls through the streets of L.A.

As the shuttle started moving again, officers urged spectators on elevated greenspace to "back all the way up. Or you're going to get hit by the wingtip."

 At the intersection of 84th and Crenshaw, Ron Liston, 42, stood on his second-story balcony with his nieces and nephews. When the shuttle passes Liston’s apartment, he will be at eye level with the windows of the orbiter.

He wasn't worried about the corner of his building or the tree that jutted over the street at the start of a slight uphill curve on the road -- he rents the place, he joked.

TIMELINE: Endeavour's journey through L.A.

"They've been out here all week," he said. "I'm sure they took proper measurements."

He was a little annoyed about a power outage prompted by the move, along with the traffic and crowds, but said his vantage point was "awe-inspiring" to wake up to.

He's lived here for 10 years and has "never" seen anything like this.

"Not even close," he said.


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-- Kate Mather in Inglewood