The Port of Long Beach and Long Beach Department of Public Works will soon commence a face lift of West Anaheim St. from the Los Angeles River to the western city limits that will, among other things, improve the road's surface, upgrade technology and beautify the streetscape.
Representatives from the Port laid out the plans for the project, which will be carried out in four phases and is projected to last 14 months, at a series of meetings this week that were open to the public. Lincoln Lo, a senior civil engineer for the Port, said that the notice to proceed will go out August 19 but residents should expect construction to begin sometime around the first few weeks of September.
“We had planned on starting this project a little earlier, but because of the work they’re doing now we realized that the traffic impact would be a lot worse than what we anticipated,” Lo said regarding the current construction on Santa Fe Ave which runs perpendicular to Anaheim Street.
Phase 1, which is scheduled to last approximately 65 days, will remove the medians from West Anaheim Street between the Los Angeles River and 9th Street. Phases 2 and 3 will force traffic to the north side (Phase 2) or south side of the street (Phase 3) in which Santa Fe Avenue will be the only allowed left turn for commuters. Both Phase 2 and 3 are scheduled to last 105 days. Phase 4 will replace the medians and curbs that were removed at the beginning of the project and is also scheduled to last 65 days.
Although traffic will be affected during the length of the project, the Port maintains that two lanes (one each of east and westbound traffic) will remain open throughout. In an effort to reduce congestion, the majority of the work will be carried out between the hours of 7 AM and 3:30 PM. One exception to that plan is that the work being performed on the westbound Anaheim Street exit from the 710 will be completed on weekends and during the evenings.
Commuters using Long Beach Transit may also be re-routed during the project. Although not finalized, the LBT may move two bus stops at Santa Fe and Harbor Avenues up to 14th street. However, the temporary inconvenience may be offset because among the improvements scheduled are improved bus stops, energy efficient LED street lights and other pedestrian friendly upgrades.
Lee Peterson, a communications specialist for the Port, recognized the inconveniences facing not only commuters but also the businesses located along the future construction site.
“We’re going to be letting people know that Anaheim Street is open and that traffic should continue to flow," Peterson said. “It’s a busy street and we need to keep the traffic flowing so we can keep the businesses going too.”
Renderings of the completed project depict a cleaner and verdant West Anaheim Street with more drought-tolerant palm trees and Chinese Flame trees peppering the new planters and walkways. The project is the second such that will affect traffic west of the 710 freeway in the past few months as the city ‘s streets continued to be repaved and updated.
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