Major construction begins on Los Feliz Blvd. today

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A major construction project designed to replace underground electric lines will begin on Los Feliz Boulevard today, causing traffic disruptions.

Much of the busy boulevard will be blocked between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays, and possibly some Saturdays, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and that could further snarl traffic on a route that already backs up severely during rush hours. The closures will last through early May.

The city plans to station traffic control officers at major intersections to ease the congestion. Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents the area, recently sent a letter to his constituents acknowledging the “unavoidable traffic impacts.”

“We cannot take these impacts lightly,” the letter said.

Just one westbound lane will be available for through traffic on Los Feliz at the Hillhurst Avenue intersection during the hours of construction. Normally, two lanes are open there, with a third lane available for right turns and rush hour use.

And at all times, no left turns will be allowed, except from Los Feliz heading west and then south onto Hillhurst. Southbound Hillhurst traffic coming out of Griffith Park will have to turn right onto westbound Los Feliz, also 24/7.

In June, a second phase will involve digging up five of the seven lanes on Los Feliz west of Vermont Avenue. Just one lane eastbound and one lane westbound will be kept open during daytime hours.

“This is an improvement that will provide a much-needed upgrade to our power infrastructure,” LaBonge wrote. “This effort will add capacity and relieve existing circuits.”

Like the construction on Coldwater Canyon Avenue linking the San Fernando Valley to the Westside, the Los Feliz Boulevard project will tie up a major chokepoint at a pass in the string of steep hills that bisects Los Angeles.

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