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BRIEFLY : Landmarks: $50,000 for Bridge-Lighting Project

August 25, 1994|SUSAN WOODWARD

The fight to string lights on the Vincent Thomas Bridge, which spans the main channel of the Port of Los Angeles, got a $50,000 boost recently from the Los Angeles City Council.

A group of Harbor area residents has fought since the bridge's 25th anniversary in 1988 to illuminate Southern California's longest suspension bridge, a 6,060-foot link between San Pedro and Long Beach.

They argue that the bridge, which fades from view at night, could be a perfect welcoming monument to Los Angeles for visitors arriving by air or sea.

"Just like the Golden Gate (Bridge) is the welcoming sign to San Francisco, the Vincent Thomas Bridge will be the welcoming sign to L.A.," said Louis Dominguez, the committee's chair.

The committee can at last move ahead with a design to light the bridge's span, cables and roadways, Dominguez said.

"If we go just about anywhere in the world, the major bridges are considered to be a part of the skyline of the city," he said. "This is the only bridge we can find that isn't lit."

Residents of the port communities have donated $20,000 toward the expense, he said.

The cost is expected to be about $300,000, so the committee continues to lobby city officials for $144,000 set aside for a harbor monument. The money was donated to the city by a Japanese firm, Shuwa Corp., several years ago, Dominguez said.

Tom Kruesopon, a spokesman for Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr., who represents the Harbor area, said he believes the city will contribute more funds.

"Then (the bridge) will be seen way out from the ocean as well as from here in City Hall on a clear day," Kruesopon said.

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