Time travel: Paul Newman and the Mulholland Drive bridge *

Scott Fajack spotted "Harper" playing on Turner Classic Movies tonight and thought to grab a circa-1966 shot of the Mulholland Drive bridge in Sepulveda Pass, spanning what was then called by everybody the San Diego Freeway. Notice that there is no Skirball Drive bridge in front of the big one. [D'oh: The photo is taken from what's now the Skirball bridge, which has a 1962 date on it.] There also are only four driving lanes in each direction — and hardly any traffic. The brush looks awfully brown too.

In a few days, during the second Carmageddon weekend, the far, north side of the Mulholland Drive bridge will be torn down to make way for a new one. The entire freeway will be closed in both directions all weekend, but hopefully you knew that.

"Harper," written by William Goldman from a novel by Ross Macdonald, starred Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall and Julie Harris, with a cast that included Arthur Hill, Janet Leigh, Robert Wagner and Shelley Winters. Plot summary from IMDb: "Harper is a cynical private eye in the best tradition of Bogart. He even has Bogie's Baby hiring him to find her missing husband, getting involved along the way with an assortment of unsavory characters and an illegal-alien smuggling ring."

Before last year's first Carmageddon, we posted about the bridge and the then-new 405 freeway showing up in Sex and the Single Girl, a 1964 comedy the features Tony Curtis as a tabloid reporter, Natalie Wood as Helen Gurley Brown and Henry Fonda wishing he was not in the movie.

More by Kevin Roderick:
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Recent 405 stories on LA Observed:
Metro's 405 contractor sues the agency over delays
Westside's long 405 construction nightmare all but over (photos)
This will be a bad traffic weekend around Sepulveda Pass
LAPD officer saves lucky Christmas drunk from burning car on 405
'Carmageddon' bridge over 405 opens
Final Wilshire@405 fly-over ramp to open Thursday
First flyover ramp opens at Wilshire and the 405
Soon as the 405 is done, more work planned for Wilshire