Pacific Coast Highway commuters are being warned of possible congestion as major construction gets underway as early as tomorrow on a storm drain project on a stretch of the highway in Santa Monica.
One of the existing three lanes in each direction is scheduled to be eliminated through next year to accommodate the work, starting sometime this week, City of Los Angeles engineers warned.
The closures will be in effect from California Incline to Entrada Drive, near Chautauqua Boulevard. Construction will get underway on a 24-hour basis to build an expanded sewer line, to divert urban runoff from canyons to the Hyperion Treatment Plant.
The center turn lane will be converted to a southbound lane during morning rush hours, and the northbound lane during evening rush hours.
PCH is commonly used as a bypass to the Sepulveda Pass for traffic between Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and about 80,000 vehicles per day use that section of PCH daily. Signs have been placed on the Ventura (101) Freeway warning about the closures.
Past sewer projects on PCH caused traffic backups on the Santa Monica (10) and San Diego (405) freeways, and placed heavier burdens on the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass.
The entire project may take one year to complete, although the lane closures will not take that much time, L.A. officials said.
PCH commuters also face pending reconstruction of the PCH-Ocean Avenue connector in Santa Monica -- called Moomat Ahiko Way -- later this spring. But that reconstruction and repaving will only take a few weeks.
Also looming is a long-term closure of the California Incline route between PCH and Santa Monica, which is slated for demolition and replacement later this year.
--City News Service