The long-expected sewer replacement project on PCH began this morning, with a reduction in travel lanes on PCH in the section between The Beach Club and Annenberg Beach Club. Here's what you should know:
Mornings (7-10am) - 3 lanes open southbound as usual, but only 2 northbound, so expect northbound backups (no driveway access in or out)
Midday (10am-4pm) - Only 2 southbound lanes, only 1 northbound, plus a center left-turn lane for turning into driveways - expect backups
Afternoon (4pm-7pm) - reverse of the morning rush hour: 3 northbound lanes, 2 southbound lanes (no driveway access in or out) - expect overflow into Canyon
Nights (9pm - 5am) - same as midday: 2 northbound and one southbound
All of this changing of lane configuration will be achieved by moving orange cones throughout the day, handled by workers in trucks by the side of the road. The net impact will be likely increased congestion on PCH, and increased traffic in the Canyon as people seek alternatives to PCH. Today, on the first day of the lane reduction, there's very heavy traffic northbound all the way down to the McClure Tunnel. Southbound traffic is moving smoothly south of Chautauqua, but was backed up a quarter mile north of Chautauqua, with a very long line for those trying to turn left onto West Channel.
BOCA, Santa Monica Canyon Civic Association, and the Palisades Community Council are jointly monitoring this project and its impacts, particularly as it relates to the upcoming closure of the California Incline, now scheduled for October. The sewer project, officially knows as CIRS (Coastal Interceptor Relief Sewer) will last for one year, so at this point, CIRS and California Incline will overlap for a period of 7 months, from October 2014 to April 2015.
In February, BOCA and its sister organizations requested the formation of a PCH Working Group to deal with traffic impacts of these two projects. The group met for the first time yesterday, and included representatives from Councilman Bonin's office, Los Angeles DOT, and City of Santa Monica. Jona Frank, Chair of BOCA's Traffic & Walkability Committee, will provide more details of that meeting shortly.
More information on all the projects is available here:
OVERVIEW: PCH Partners - Home
PROJECTS: PCH Partners - Projects
SCHEDULE: PCH Partners - Schedule