A Look At The Santa Monica Transportation Industry

By: Terry Parker

The Santa Monica Freeway first opened in 1964 and has since become one of the busiest freeways in the entire world. This high traffic is due to the integral part that the freeway plays in providing accessibility to Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego, and many points in between.

The freeway, which is legally defined as the westernmost segment of Interstate 10, begins at the western terminus of I-10 at the Pacific Coast Highway, and ends at the famed East Los Angeles Interchange. The I-10 Freeway branches off from that point and continues as the San Bernardino Freeway.

This freeway has been featured in many films and referenced in many songs and other areas of current pop culture, and continues to serve many commuters and travelers alike, connecting them to prime Southern California destinations as well as points beyond.

The Santa Monica Airport holds the distinction of being the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County. The earliest records indicate the flights from this location took place as early as WWI, when biplane pilots utilized the then informal grass landing site known as Clover Field as a take off point. Things have definitely changed since those days, aviation has come a long way in both technology and raw transportation numbers.

The Douglas Aircraft Company, which purchased the airport in 1922, employed up to 44,000 employees during its peak years, which required the construction of housing for employees, as well as a rezoning of the perimeter of the airport to accommodate this residential housing influx. The Douglas Air Craft company was responsible for testing and building both the A 20 Havoc and A 26 Marauder, as well as the well known B 19.

Many events are hosted at the Santa Monica airport, including the Barney Warehouse sale, the Macys Dream American Express Passport Fundraiser, Dream Halloween and PAL Halloween events, The LA Arts Show, Devine Design, and the LA Antique show. In addition, the annual Asian Nights and the New Years Celebration take place at the Typhoon and the Hump, the airports on site restaurants. Many local school groups frequently visit the airport to get a firsthand look at the aviation industry as well.

Today, the Santa Monica airport is one of the busiest in the country, and contains a Santa Monica Aviation History Museum onsite, which is currently under remodel and is scheduled to reopen sometime in early 2008 and is expected to draw in even more visitors to the historic site.

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