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Hollywood Walk of Fame gets needed facelift

September 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's the top tourist attraction in Los Angeles, but in some spots, the Hollywood Walk of Fame looks like it's going downhill.

Matthew Broderick has busted pieces of terrazzo on two corners, and Kermit the Frog is cracked through the middle.

"I was expecting to see no cracks in it, and perhaps a bit cleaner so that is stands out a little bit more," said Irene Francis, a visitor from Melbourne, Australia.

The stars are finally getting some reinforcement this year. To help them better handle the amount of foot traffic, the heat, the subway, or any other possible causes that have led to wear and tear. Studies of the root cause were inconclusive, but tougher construction standards on a small segment of the Walk have done the trick.

"Such as making the concrete twice as thick -- the base -- so the base instead of 4 inches is 8 inches. And then installing spacers which will allow for movement at a more closer level," said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce CEO Leron Gubler.

Gubler says the project will take place in phases along Hollywood Boulevard. The first chunk has already been removed and will be replaced by the end of the year. But some tourists posing next to their favorite stars don't mind a few flaws in their photo op.

"I'm not surprised because a lot of people is walking over it so I thought it would be something like this," said Lucas Berranek, who was visiting Los Angeles from the Czech Republic.

Repairing the less-than-stellar appearance of the stars will exceed the initial $4 million price tag. The chamber has about $2.5 million for the project so far and is banking on more donations.

"It's a treasure for Los Angeles and we want to maintain it so we can be proud of the Walk of Fame," said Gubler.

The stars that will first see repairs are between the Dolby Theater and Hollywood and Highland on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard. Repairs will then move to Hollywood and Vine. The project has been six years in the making.

Anyone who donates at least $25 will receive a certificate of authenticity and a pin to show you are a friend of the Walk of Fame.

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