Los Angeles city officials and local community members marked the completion of various improvements to Sepulveda Boulevard during a ceremony in Westchester Thursday, January 7th.

Eleventh District City Councilman Bill Rosendahl joined other city officials, local business leaders and residents at the corner of 89th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard to celebrate the long-awaited enhancements to one of the Westside’s most heavily traveled corridors.

“I am thrilled to complete this multi-faceted project that improves the safety and the aesthetics for this portion of Sepulveda Boulevard. It has never looked so good,” said Rosendahl, who represents Westchester. “This project not only benefits business in the area but the entire Westchester community with better traffic flow, more parking, as well as a cleaner and greener downtown Westchester.”

The $8.9-million project stretches along Sepulveda Boulevard between Lincoln Boulevard and Howard Hughes Parkway. Since summer 2007, city Department of Public Works crews fixed sidewalks; installed and landscaped medians; upgraded street lights; planted shrubs and 193 new trees; and built a storm drain and catch basins.

The project also involved widening of the boulevard to allow for three full-time lanes in each direction and additional street parking in the business district. The need for trees was also identified to help mitigate air quality along the busy transit corridor.

Construction was completed in December. Work was done mostly during weekdays, except during the November-December holiday season when a holiday moratorium was implemented.

“We are pleased to present a more drivable and business-friendlier Sepulveda Boulevard to the Westchester community,” City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said. “This project is a success that we share with the community and the other public agencies that have supported and contributed to this improved major airport access road.”

The Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District (BID) and the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association were also involved in the planning and construction of the street project.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with improvements for this community. Our district is one of few that can claim such progress,” Westchester BID Executive Director Donald Duckworth said.

“Westchester Town Center’s commercial property owners look forward to maintaining these improvements as a credit to the community and embarking on new partnerships with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilman Rosendahl, LAX, and the Planning Department to create new high-paying jobs and improvements in Westchester.”

Prior to the improvement project, the major Westchester roadway had six traffic lanes that were reduced to four in the business district during peak hours to allow for street parking, thereby causing congestion, officials noted.

Flooding during the rainy season was a common occurrence at the intersection of 89th Street and Sepulveda due to the lack of a storm drain and catch basins.