A long awaited public works project along Sepulveda Blvd that will replace overgrown trees and repair broken and buckling sidewalks is finally getting underway in the City of Los Angeles.
Last weekend, crews removed 17 ficus trees on the west side of Sepulveda Blvd., from Manchester to 80th St, and made way for two new species whose roots will cause less damage to the the sidewalk. The City’s Bureau of Engineering and Bureau of Street Services, in partnership with the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA), will replace the trees at a ratio of 3:1.
The City will use Koelreuteria bipinnata and Tabebuia impetiginosa to line what many locals call the Gateway to Los Angeles International Airport. Both trees can be found on the City’s approved list of trees and are the same as those used for the Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District. Landscapers say the new trees will not destroy the sidewalks.
Here are stock photos from the City’s Street Trees Division:
Koelreuteria bipinnata also known as the Chinese Flame Tree
and Tabebuia impetiginosa also known as the Pink Trumpet Tree
“It’s imperative that we get to the root of our sidewalk problem and remove those ficus trees,” said Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. “The sidewalks have become a safety hazard to both pedestrians and vehicular traffic. These new and improved sidewalks will create a safer environment and comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements mandated by the US Federal Government.”
The design plan is to eventually extend the street improvement and landscaping in the Town Center by seven blocks to the Howard Hughes Pkwy.
WSIA president Don Duckworth said the contractor reported four adjacent residents came out of their homes to cheer the work.
“The work here in our community is long overdue,” said Duckworth. “We want to thank City staff who provided essential support and guidance for the project. We can’t wait for this beautification and public safety project to spring to life.”
Rosendahl continued and said it was a combination of local and federal help that made this project a reality. The project was kickstarted thanks to a $1 million federal grant that the City approved last March.
“I want to thank Congresswoman Maxine Waters for providing the $1 million grant that made this project possible,” said Rosendahl. “Her dedication and commitment to this project is appreciated by the entire community. “
Sidewalk replacement is slated to begin this Spring, which will include a meandering design feature on the west side of Sepulveda. This portion of the work will also include the new trees and landscaping.
WSIA conducted extensive public information and outreach about the project prior to the completion of this latest work.