Works install tracks at the intersection of Colorado Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard last week. (Paul Alvarez Jr.)

Two transportation-related construction projects are scheduled to start in the coming weeks, and the city has issued a statement describing the reconfigured traffic patterns.

Construction of the Colorado Esplanade will officially begin on Monday, March 16, with installation of a railing at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue. The project will overlap with continued construction of the Expo Light Rail station at the same location.

According to the City, one northbound lane on 4th Street, between the I-10 Freeway and Colorado Avenue will be closed starting March 16. Left turns from northbound 4th Street to westbound Colorado Avenue will also be prohibited from about 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 22 until late Wednesday, March 25.

Debbie Lee, Communications and Public Affairs Officer for the City, said the lane closures are related to Expo but the City is taking the opportunity to begin work on the Esplanade to minimize disruptions.

The Esplanade is a pedestrian-friendly corridor on Colorado that will connect the Expo Light Rail station to Ocean Avenue, the Pier and the future Palisades Garden Walk park. According to the City’s description of the project, “The reconfigured roadway will expand bicycle and pedestrian facilities and increase landscaping and public art to create a visual and functional focal point between the Downtown and Civic Center.”

On March 26, Colorado between 4th and Ocean will permanently become one-way westbound to facilitate the Esplanade vision. According to the city, eastbound travel will be redirected to Broadway or the newly constructed Olympic Drive.

An official notice said walkways would be open to ensure access to all businesses in the area. Officials said the Esplanade should be finished within a year and in advance of Expo opening.

Additional road closures will begin in April for a second project, the replacement of the California Incline. The project includes a separated bike path, walkway, enhanced stability of the bluffs and widening of the bridge.

“The California Incline was last renovated in 1930, and the existing structure must be reconstructed to meet current seismic standards,” the city’s statement reads.

The road will be closed in both directions for the one-year project. Southbound traffic on Pacific Coast Highway will be redirected to the Moomat Ahiko Way off-ramp onto Ocean Avenue. Westbound traffic coming from the I-10 will be redirected to Lincoln Boulevard.

Lee said the City is working to provide residents with ample information and communication about the projects. Residents will receive a notification 30 days prior to the start of Incline work and the city is hosting weekly meetings about both projects. The construction updates will be held on Thursdays, beginning on March 12, from 5-7 p.m. at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St., Room 106.

“Though we have key information available online and through social media, we want to make sure that people have the opportunity to learn about the projects, ask questions and voice concerns in-person, directly to the team working on the Esplanade and Incline projects,” Susan Cline, Interim Public Works Director, said in a statement. “We know there will be inconveniences during the construction phase and we are committed to working with the community to make the next year run as smoothly as possible.”

For more information about the Colorado Esplanade Project and California Incline Reconstruction, visit www.smconstructs.org. Hotline numbers are available for each project: Esplanade Hotline (626) 344-4248, Incline Hotline (888) 303-6026.

matt@www.smdp.com

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