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'Business as usual' on California bridges

SAN PEDRO, California (CNN) -- It's business as usual for officers patrolling the Vincent Thomas Bridge, and law enforcement officials said Saturday protection of the bridge will continue up to and beyond the end of an FBI threat warning, if necessary.

"It's an hour-to-hour, day-to-day basis that we're working here, there hasn't been any directed cutoff point," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Cathy Moore told CNN.

The FBI this week released a warning that unspecified groups have targeted bridges on the West Coast, with word that six incidents were planned during rush hour traffic between November 2 and November 7.

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According to Moore, currently there are nine CHP officers continuously patrolling the roadway on the bridge, with additional support coming from the National Guard, the Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Game.

While there have been no unusual happenings on the bridge since information of the FBI report was released by California Gov. Gray Davis on Thursday, maintaining a high visibility contributes to the public assurance that law enforcement is doing its job, Moore said.

She added that authorities have not noticed any appreciable decrease in activity on the bridge.

"It shows that we're out here doing our job that the public has confidence that we're out here protecting them," she said.

The CHP patrol is on the watch for any suspicious vehicles, people or objects, but at this time does not plan to interrupt traffic flow by stopping cars.

"The only reason we would ever stop a car is if we had some probable cause. It would be violating people's constitutional rights to be out here driving around if we didn't have some absolute reason to stop them," Moore said.

Completed in 1963, the Vincent Thomas Bridge was the first of its kind to be constructed on pilings. Spanning the main channel of the Los Angeles harbor, the bridge is designed to withstand wind speeds up to 90 miles per hour. Its overall length is 6,050 feet, with a main suspension span of 1,500 feet.


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