LACMA’s West Terrace Room was the site of the Public Works Wilshire Boulevard Improvement Meeting last Wednesday at 8a. Hosted and organized by CD4 Councilman Tom LaBonge, the meeting gave representatives from three different LA City departments the opportunity to communicate the current status on their projects:
- City of LA Bureau of Street Services – Wilshire Repaving
- LADOT Bureau of Engineering – Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT)
- Metro – Purple Line Subway Project
The most immediate project – the repaving of Wilshire Boulevard – will take place towards the end of August and will last from 3 – 6 weeks. Keith Mozee, Division Manager for the Bureau of Street Services, noted that contractors will repair gutter lanes on both sides of Wilshire from Wilton Place to Fairfax Avenue. Most of the work will take place on weekends. Any weekday work will take place between 9a-3p – outside of what is considered to be rush hour traffic time. Lanes will be closed while they do the work, but will be reopened at the end of each day.
Workers will only resurface the curbside lanes, as those lanes are most in need of repair. They will mine out 4-6 inches of asphalt, prepare it for new asphalt, coat with a special new oil that improves the durability and longevity of the project and poor in new asphalt. They can move pretty quickly – doing anywhere from a quarter mile to a half a mile at a time.
The middle lanes will not be repaved at this time. Also, they are just repaving – no curb repair is being done at this time.
The project is estimated to cost approximately $800,000. Councilman LaBonge is using Prop C funding – funding that stems from the half-cent sales tax from Measure R and is supposed to be used on roads that have public transportation. For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, CD4 has a total of approximately $2.3 million in Prop C funds ($800K of which is targeted for repaving Wilshire).
Councilman LaBonge was very up front about the fact that he is spending money twice. According to LaBonge, this project can’t wait. “Wilshire is in such bad shape. We’ll do this work now and finish once the other work is done.”
The other work includes the BRT Project – targeted to begin construction a year from now and to take 18 months to complete (by end of 2014); and the Westside Subway Extension – scheduled to begin major construction in 2014. We’ll have more information on those projects as the start dates approach.