ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Plump Engineering, a fully-integrated architecture and engineering firm, and Encon Construction Services, a consulting construction and design-build firm, have teamed to provide design, engineering, and logistics management for the transport of the Space Shuttle Endeavor from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Oct. 12-13. Through a comprehensive suite of architecture, engineering and construction services, the two Southern California companies are working with Sarens, CalTrans, Southern California Edison, and local police departments to protect Los Angeles roadways, sewer/storm drain systems, and underground utilities and to ensure the weight of the orbiter and its transporter do not damage the infrastructure during transport.
Following its final mission in May 2011, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was officially retired by NASA, and is being transported to the California Science Center where it will be on display in the Samuel Oschin Pavilion’s “Endeavor: A California Story” exhibit, showcasing artifacts and images relating the shuttle program to California.
“Endeavor is a major piece of America’s history and accomplishment in space,” said Richard Plump principal of Plump Engineering. “Our team is thrilled to be able to help facilitate its safe transport to the California Science Center where it will teach and inspire countless people of all ages.”
The combined weight of the shuttle (approximately 175,000 pounds) and the transport vehicle (approximately 325,000 lbs.), poses risk to the city’s roadways, sewers, and storm drains — many of which were initially implemented in the 1920s and 1930s.
Plump Engineering and Encon Construction Services will address the infrastructure along the entire route, which begins at an LAX hangar and continues through the city of Inglewood and past the South Figueroa Corridor in the city of Los Angeles, ending just south of the University of Southern California campus at the museum.
“Providing logistics and construction support for the transport of Endeavor is a signature project for us,” said Michael Volchok, president of Encon Construction Services. “Because Endeavor is a space icon, we will need to properly manage the crowds and traffic that it is sure to attract as it moves from LAX to the California Science Center. This will be a key component of our responsibility.”
In addition to the collaboration with municipalities and utilities for crowd and vehicular traffic control, major activities will include removal of center concrete medians (k-walls) and construction of ramps at Lincoln Blvd. near LAX, the analysis of all sewers and storm drains along the entire route in order to direct the placement of 2,600 steel plates to distribute the vehicle’s weight, analysis of soil pressures, and the transfer of the vehicle across the Manchester Bridge at the 405 freeway.
With a maximum speed in flight of 19,000 mph, the Space Shuttle Endeavor will complete the 14-mile transfer route from LAX to the California Science Center moving at approximately 2 mph. The journey will commence during the early hours of the morning on October 12 and Endeavor will make an 8:00 am stop at the Forum in Inglewood for a ceremony. Following the event, the orbiter will continue on its route, making it to the California Science Center on the evening of October 13. Engineering and construction services will both precede and follow orbiter transport efforts.