I was looking forward to checking out the aftermath of last weekend’s “Century Crunch” bridge demolition (see the before photo), but for various reasons I didn’t get a chance to really look at it until Thursday, when I finally felt up to walking down to the corner at lunch.

The most interesting part is the rise to the south of Century Blvd, where the remnants of the bridge come up to about 15 feet from the street. It’s fenced off, but of course when you’re walking by, the thin canvas they use doesn’t completely block your view. I was able to get my camera lens between two pieces of canvas to get the image here. It’s interesting that the ramp is hollow. I’m not sure what the normal design is, but I’d always thought that ramps like this were filled in with dirt, and that’s the impression I’d gotten from various projects I’ve seen in progress. Perhaps railroad bridges are different than freeway bridges? Or perhaps they emptied it out when they tore out the span?

It makes it look like the entrance to a tunnel, sloping down into the earth.
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Century/Aviation Railroad Bridge

Next weekend, construction crews will tear out this old railroad bridge across Century Blvd near LAX to make way for a Metro station on the future Crenshaw Line. They’ve dubbed the road closure the Century Crunch. As of Thursday, they were already breaking down the parts of the bridge that don’t cross the street.

I actually drive under this bridge every day on my way to work — that’ll be a change. It’ll be interesting to watch progress on the Metro station as well. It’s been a while, but when I first started at this job, I had a much longer commute, and I would drive part way to the end of the Green Line and take the train to the nearest stop, Aviation Station, which will become the transfer point between the Green and Crenshaw Lines.

A two-story building with tiles and several vertical screens with square-and-diagonal patterns and an awning.

Another soon-to-be-demolished structure. This old medical building in Torrance has a lot more character than the bridge, but it’s being replaced by something less exciting, IMO: parking for the currently-expanding Del Amo Fashion Center. As if the mall isn’t big enough already. Sure, parts of it needed renovation, but the parts that needed it the most haven’t been touched by the current project.

Dried-up lawn Lawn gradient

The office building next door to work is being converted into a hotel, and the lawn has become a staging area for the renovation work. They’ve turned off the sprinklers, leaving the lawn around the building dried into very short straw and producing an interesting gradient in the transition from watered to unwatered.

I kind of hope they’ll put in something less water-intensive than a new lawn when they’re done, but I’m not counting on it.

We went to Wayzgoose* at UCI on Saturday, which meant getting our annual taste of what’s changed about the college campus. I’d caught the new Student Center last fall, but Katie hadn’t been back since last year, before it was finished.

Some of the meeting rooms buried in the hill still remain from the previous building. In a food court next to the bookstore, I found a window looking down on this familiar-looking atrium.

Through the glass paneling is a stairway that leads up to the ring road entrance. Clone Copy and Clone Notes used to be on the lower floor to the right (off-camera). In the mid-1990s, the area below the overhang to the left was a pool hall whose name escapes me. I think they converted it to a study area when they remodeled the upper floor to create Zot Zone (which has since been demolished and relocated). The area where I was standing used to be an outdoor walkway connecting the main courtyard to the bookstore.

What was really odd was the west food court, where my brain kept trying to overlay the old layout even though I’m sure they ripped out and replaced that section of the building entirely.

The sad thing, though, was that they’re tearing up the large grass area in the middle of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and putting in another building. Everything in the quad bordered by the Claire Trevor Theater (formerly the Village Theater), the Studio Theater, the scene shop, Studio Four, and the drama offices is a big fenced-off area of dirt.

Aside from the usual uses for a lawn, it was a great place for people to rehearse. It’s not clear how much of the fenced-off area will actually be turned into a building, but they may have finally finished paving the entire school.

I found it a rather ironic discovery to make at this time, considering that Wayzgoose/Celebrate UCI is also combined with Earth Day.

*Update 2019: Since the link seems to be dead, some context: Wayzgoose was part of Celebrate UCI, a combination festival, open house (for prospective sutdents and parents), and club fair. It started with a medieval theme in the 1970s, though by the 1990s that was already fading. Once that was gone, there was a slow shift of emphasis away from Wayzgoose and toward Celebrate UCI as far as branding went, presumably because nobody knows what a Wayzgoose is, but everyone knows what a celebration is.