Maria Coronado has building in her blood.
Her grandmother was a World War II riveter and her grandfather a lifelong woodworker. Coronado, who grew up learning how to bake bread as skillfully as she knew how to fix a combustible engine, was often the only woman on a site to wield a hammer when she started in construction in 1990.
Nearly 30 years later, she’s a mentor to those who’ve followed in her footsteps, answering late-night calls helping women navigate a male-dominated field. That includes a group of women rebuilding downtown Los Angeles’ 6th Street Bridge — a once iconic landmark stretching across the L.A. River that was torn down in 2016 after it was deemed an earthquake hazard.
“What I’m always telling them is to own your skills,” said Coronado, 52. “Outshine everybody.”
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