You learn something every day

By James Fallows
In this case, about the history of the LA freeways. Recently I mentioned the I-10 / I-405 interchange in west Los Angeles, familiar to many headed to LAX --especially before the completion of the Century Freeway, I-105, in the 1990s.

From reader BF, now living in Pennsylvania, this recollection of that very interchange:
I wanted to pass on two things. First, that during the decade I was navigating the freeways in LA, the soaring transition from the Santa Monica Freeway west to the San Diego Freeway south was always the high point. The designer of that interchange launched your car into the sky, banked it over 8 (10?) lanes and landed it full speed in the southbound lane.

Second, is that the designer, Marilyn Jorgenson Reece, was the first female civil engineer licensed in California. This link describes the dedication ceremony when CalTrans named the interchange for her. [Link is here.]
Here, from the linked CalTrans website, is Marilyn Reese as she looked during construction; below, a clearer sense of the design she had in mind.

The designer:
Reese.jpg


Her work:
Freeways.jpg

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2009/05/you-learn-something-every-day/18194/