The project would add traffic lanes, bike lanes and sidewalks between Playa Vista and Marina del Rey

By Gary Walker

Caltrans will host a community meeting on Wednesday (March 28) to discuss plans for widening Lincoln Boulevard between Jefferson Boulevard in Playa Vista and Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. The heavily trafficked 0.6-mile stretch of Lincoln traverses the upper and lower segments of the ecologically sensitive Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve.

The project, still in its early development stages, includes widening the Lincoln Boulevard bridge over Ballona Creek and the Culver Boulevard bridge over Lincoln.

Caltrans spokesman Karl Price said it was possible that the project would entail work that touches the wetlands, but everything is in the preliminary stages.

“We’re just taking questions tomorrow night and we hope to have answers to all the questions eventually,” he said.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently in the midst of its environmental review of Ballona Wetlands restoration plans.

“We will have a representative at the meeting on Wednesday night, and our habitat conservation branch is determining whether or not we will provide a comment letter,” said department spokeswoman Jordan Traverso.

Caltrans is considering two sets of plans.

The first would realign Lincoln and its Culver interchange to the east, expanding the Lincoln Boulevard bridge to accommodate three traffic lanes in each direction (instead of two) plus a sidewalk and bicycle lanes on each side. A new Culver bridge would maintain the existing traffic configuration but add a sidewalk and bicycle lanes to connect with the Ballona Creek Bike Path.

The other plan would maintain the existing Lincoln Boulevard alignment by widening the roadway on both sides to accommodate three traffic lanes, sidewalk and bicycle lanes over the bridge, while also widening the Culver bridge to include bike paths and a sidewalk.

Wednesday’s public meeting is at 6 p.m. in the Westchester Municipal Building Community Room, 7166 W. Manchester Blvd., Westchester.