The upcoming reconstruction of Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills will take about a year and a half, according to a new report by WeHo by the Numbers, based on documents from the City of Beverly Hills. The project’s $24 million cost includes $2 million for planning and design, $2 million for construction management, $18 million for the planned construction work and a $2 million contingency for “unforeseen conditions” encountered during construction. That part of Santa Monica Boulevard is important for the access it offers from and to West Hollywood on the west side.
The work will happen on North Santa Monica Boulevard from Wilshire Boulevard to Doheny Drive. North Santa Monica is the big arterial with parkland along the north side. South Santa Monica — also known as “Little” Santa Monica — is the smaller parallel street that runs through the business district.
The city is replacing or upgrading the North Santa Monica roadway, drainage, sidewalks and street lights. The project will widen part of the street, but the number of travel lanes will stay the same. It will not add bike lanes, though that may be an option in the future.
The construction schedule has not been finalized. The work could begin late this year or early in 2017. It will be split into two sequential parts: the segment from Wilshire to Alpine Drive (near city hall) and Alpine Drive to Doheny. The city has not decided which part will go first.
The chart that accompanies this article is an example of what the construction schedule might look like. It assumes that work would start on the Wilshire-to-Alpine segment in January 2017, followed by the Alpine-to-Doheny segment.
The work on each street segment may be divided into four phases, A through D. They are color-coded in the chart to give a sense of the potential impact on traffic. During the green periods, left-turn lanes would be lost but four travel lanes — two in each direction — would be preserved. Those are the longest periods.
Yellow means the loss of one travel lane. There would be two lanes for westbound traffic and only one lane going east. Those two periods would last less than two months each (an estimated 35 to 39 working days).
There are also two red periods in this example, one for the Wilshire-to-Alpine segment and one for the Alpine-to-Doheny segment. During the red periods, two travel lanes would be lost. For the Alpine-to-Doheny segment, that probably means one lane of traffic in each direction for a month or so (an estimated 23 working days). For Wilshire-to-Alpine, it might mean both lanes used for westbound traffic for a month. Eastbound traffic would be diverted onto South Santa Monica or other alternatives.
The city knows that some drivers may cut through Beverly Hills residential neighborhoods to avoid the construction work. It plans to respond with neighborhood traffic management tools, such as speed lumps, traffic diverters, and peak-hour turn restrictions.
For thoughts about the traffic impact in West Hollywood, please see the WeHo by the Numbers report, How long will construction last on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills?