Construction crews are about to begin work on the long awaited, state of the art, $3.5 million Sepulveda Tunnel retrofitting project that promises to better illuminate the road with energy efficient LED lighting, Councilmember Bill Rosendahl announced today.
Construction is scheduled to start the first week of October and continue through November 16. The work will resume after the holidays, from January 2, 2013 and continue through June 20. The majority of the work will take place in the overnight hours.
The work inside the tunnel, which runs underneath a runway on the south side of Los Angeles International Airport, will address poor visibility and other safety issues.
“The start of this project is great news from a safety and fiscal standpoint,” says Rosendahl. “The appropriation will use existing gas taxes and install a new, state of the art, LED lighting system that’s brighter, more reliable and much easier to maintain than the current system we have now.”
The work is part of a collaborative effort between state and local agencies. Rosendahl brought Los Angeles World Airports, Bureau of Street Lighting, Bureau of Street Services, Department of General Services, and CalTrans to the table to figure out a plan to not only renovate but also maintain the tunnel. The agencies agree to be responsible for tunnel upkeep, properly sweep and maintain the roadway, and power wash the walls and ceiling.
“The start of the Sepulveda Tunnel Project is a wonderful example of all levels of government working together to strengthen and enhance our community,” said Assemblywoman Betsy Butler. “The Sepulveda Tunnel is a critical gateway to our beautiful city and a significant link to the operation of Los Angeles International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country and the sixth busiest in the world. I am proud to have been a part of this important and collaborative effort and commend City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl for his partnership in the beautification of this important thoroughfare.”
“This project will enhance the visibility and safety of the Sepulveda Tunnel, while significantly reducing energy costs by 64 percent,” said Ed Ebrahimian, Director of Bureau of Street Lighting. “Once completed, the state of the art new LED lighting will serve as a gateway to welcome visitors and reaffirm the City of Los Angeles’ goal of becoming the greenest City in the nation.”
The Councilmember and his staff in the Westchester District office are working on a maintenance schedule with the previously mentioned stakeholders that will include monthly sweeping and quarterly power washing of the tunnel.
The tunnel was built in the early 1950’s to accommodate the airport’s westward expansion without having an impact on a major north-south artery for automobile traffic.
Councilmember Bill Rosendahl represents the coastal communities of the 11th District, which includes LAX.