Modern Marvels

Season 11 Episode 4

Pacific Coast Highway

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Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Feb 04, 2004 on The History Channel
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Pacific Coast Highway
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For 25 years, construction crews dug, blasted, tunneled, and bridged their way up America's West Coast along the California, Oregon, and Washington shoreline to build the Pacific Coast Highway. Historians, road and bridge engineers, and experts relate this story of perseverance, primal machines, convict labor, and engineering brilliance as we tour its scenic route. And we look at the latest technologies used to keeping it running despite floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and landslides.moreless
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    • TRIVIA (4)

      • Some of the explosive powder used to blast the Pacific Coast Highway's path along Point Mugu was salvaged from hand grenades left over from World War I.

      • In the year 2000, a seismic retrofit was completed on the Bixby Bridge to make it more earthquake safe. The retrofit's cost of 5.2 million dollars was 26 times greater than the bridge's original construction cost in 1932.

      • A 1995 landslide closed the coast highway at the Devil's Slide for 5 months. It cost nearly one and a half million dollars to reopen the road.

      • When the last of McCullough's bay bridges was completed in 1946, tourism on Oregon's coast highway jumped 72 percent the following year.

    • QUOTES (1)

      • Narrator: On one side pounding surf, on the other looming mountains and rugged gorges. Building it pushed road and bridge engineers to new heights. Now buckle up and enjoy the ride on the most spectacular roadway in American: The Pacific Coast Highway.

    • NOTES (1)

      • Commentators:

        Bob Pavlik
        Caltrans Historian

        Kevin Smith
        Editor in Chief, Motor Trend Magazine

        Matthew Roth
        Historian, Auto Club of Southern California

        David Galarza
        Caltrans Structure Representative

        John Duffy
        Caltrans Senior Engineering Geologist

        Chris Wolfe
        Manager, Granite Construction, Inc

        Jim Martin
        Caltrans Engineer (Ret)

        Robert W. Hadlow, PhD
        Senior Historian, Oregon Department of Transportation

        Frank Nelson, P.E.
        Bridge Preservation Engineer

        Eldon Everton
        Oregon Department of Transportation (Ret)

        Randy Young
        Los Angeles Coastal Historian

        Dan Freeman
        Caltrans Chief of Construction

        Kellie Gray
        VP Great Western Corporation

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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