Lighting improvement work has begun in the Sepulveda Tunnel near Los Angeles International Airport, creating potential traffic effects at night, airport officials said.
Work is scheduled between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday, and between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday through June 30, 2013. No construction will take place during the space shuttle Endeavour’s surface-street departure from LAX Oct. 11-12, and during the holiday season, from Nov. 16 through Jan. 2.
The $3.5 million project includes the replacement of the tunnel’s lighting system with a new light-emitting-diode (LED) system that will be more energy efficient and require less maintenance, airport officials said. Tunnel walls also will be washed and repainted.
Officials note that the project is intended to address current poor-visibility conditions and other safety issues. The new lighting will also help beautify an important corridor to and from LAX, they said.
While construction is taking place, one lane in both the north and south directions through the Sepulveda Tunnel will always remain open to provide access to Westchester, El Segundo (South Bay), and the 105 freeway. Motorists are advised to expect traffic congestion in the tunnel area between 10 p.m. and midnight, the last two hours of LAX’s daily nighttime peak traffic period.
The improvement project will occur in phases – starting on the south end of the tunnel – in order to minimize traffic impacts to air travelers and motorists, officials said.
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office worked in partnership with state Assemblywoman Betsy Butler’s office on the project to help improve safety issues for travelers through the tunnel.
The agencies involved include the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the city Street Lighting and Street Services bureaus and Los Angeles Department of General Services, and Los Angeles World Airports.