How long will construction last on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills?
The City of Beverly Hills will soon reconstruct 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 reconstruction project will replace or upgrade the roadway, drainage, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping. Part of the street will be widened, but the number of travel lanes will stay the same. The City isn’t adding bike lanes, though that may be an option in the future.
The project will cost about $24 million, according to a July 2016 report to the Beverly Hills City Council. The total 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.
The reconstruction project will take about a year and a half. It could start in late 2016 or early 2017 and finish in the summer of 2018.
The City is splitting the work into two consecutive parts: the segment from Wilshire to City Hall (Alpine Drive, to be exact) and the segment from City Hall to Doheny. They haven’t decided yet which part will go first.
Traffic impact in Beverly Hills
The construction schedule hasn’t been finalized. The chart below shows what the schedule might look like if work started on the Wilshire-to-City-Hall segment in January 2017. There may be four phases, A through D, for each segment. The phases are color-coded to give a sense of the potential impact on traffic.
During the green periods, left-turn lanes would be lost but the 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, one for the Wilshire-to-City-Hall segment and one for the City-Hall-to-Doheny segment. During the red periods, two travel lanes will be lost. For the City-Hall-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-City-Hall, 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. They plan to respond with neighborhood traffic management tools, such as speed lumps, traffic diverters, and peak-hour turn restrictions.
Traffic impact in West Hollywood
We don’t know what the traffic impact will be on West Hollywood. We’d guess the biggest effects will be on:
- Westbound Santa Monica during the morning peak
- Westbound Santa Monica the rest of the day, because traffic volumes don’t drop that much after the peak (see the chart below and our earlier report)
- Doheny, because of adjacent construction and because more drivers will use it to get on or off of Santa Monica (it is part of eastbound detour routes under consideration by the City of Beverly Hills)
- Sunset, because some drivers will use it as an alternative to Santa Monica