The Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro finally got its lights Sunday — and
with them, a new dose of respect.
At least that is the hope of the locals in the broad-shouldered port
neighborhood who have been fighting for the last 17 years to light the
third-longest suspension bridge in California.
The 160 baby-blue lights, strung along the length of the 2.2-mile-long
bridge at a cost of $1 million, were officially switched on at dusk in
a ceremony attended by hundreds of San Pedro residents, including Los
Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn.
a picture replica of the Vincent Thomas Bridge
to Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn
Spectators gathered along the waterfront and on the deck of a nearby
cruise ship to ooh and aah and hope that the new nighttime spectacle
would bode well for the community's future.
"I absolutely love it — it's beautiful," said Derek Tadashi Takeuchi,
who owns an art gallery in downtown San Pedro. "It signifies the new direction
of San Pedro. It's a sight for sore eyes."
San Pedro residents are generally proud to contrast their hard-working
community with the flash and glitter of Hollywood or Bel-Air.