February 9: This Date in Los Angeles Transportation History

1971:  At 6:01 a.m., an earthquake near San Fernando measuring 6.6 rolls across Southern California, leaving 65 dead and staggering structural damage.

Twelve overpass bridges fall onto freeway lanes, including the I-5 interchange at the I-210 freeway.  (The interchange is rebuilt and reopens in 1973, only to collapse again in the 1994 Northridge earthquake).

One outcome of the San Fernando (or “Sylmar”) earthquake is the creation of Caltrans’ Seismic Retrofit Program for existing structures and new bridge design criteria to make our highway infrastructure safer.

More information can be found in our Primary Resources Blog post written for the 40th anniversary of the quake..