Westchester Streetscape Improvement Status - Official Update

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By John Ruhlen, Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association President, July 1, 2014:

Sepulveda Blvd. between Manchester Ave. and Howard Hughes Parkway has been a ten plus year project. There is a master plan that includes walkable sidewalks, new street trees (the same trees you see in the Westchester Town Center) and new landscaping. Where the space allows the sidewalks will be meandering.

The project has several phases, each with its own administrative structure and funding. Last year two of the phases were completed. On the west side of the street between 77th Street and 80th Street the Westchester Lutheran School funded the removal of the ficus trees and repairing the broken sidewalks. The Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (WSIA) planted new street trees and managed the project.

The other phase that was completed in 2013 was between Howard Parkway and 77th Street, again on the west side of the street. This project was funded and managed by WSIA. Ficus trees were removed and broken sidewalks were repaired to provide a safe walking experience.

On the west side between 80th Street to 83rd Street, the project is funded with a Federal grant that was made available by our Congresswoman Maxine Waters. It is managed by the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering. WSIA was told that the project was to start construction in March of 2013. WSIA funded the removal of the ficus trees in February 2013 before the nesting season so that the construction would not be interrupted. A number of starting dates were announced by the Bureau. The latest one was for this July or August. But there has been another delay. The design and construction documents have been completed.

The construction that is in progress on the east side is another Federal grant called Safety Route to School and is administered by the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services. The hard scape has been completed. The water meters for the landscaping were ordered in December 2013. They are expected to be delivered by the end of this week. The irrigation is being installed and should be completed by the end of next week. The landscaping team will start soon after that. This project will be completed after the trees and landscaping are installed. WSIA is working with the residents who’s fences face the boulevard to get permission to paint the fences and plant flowering vines along the fences. When completed WSIA will adopt this project and proved the maintenance.

Construction on the remainder of the east side will be at a later date.

WSIA has adopted the medians between Manchester and Howard Hughes Parkway Fifteen (15) new trees have been added to the medians and new landscaping will be done this year. They will also be maintained by WSIA.

WSIA provides a hand watering service for all the new street trees planted on Sepulveda Blvd. as well as on Manchester Avenue outside of the Westchester Town Center BID.

The new trees that have been planted on Sepulveda Eastway, Sepulveda Westway and the trees that have been planted in the Manchester medians between Emerson Ave and Lincoln Blvd. are trees gifted to Westchester by the California Science Center and will be maintained by them for two years.

Another project that is under construction is on Manchester Ave. between La Tijera and the Inglewood City Limits. This is funded by a Federal grant to extend the bike lanes east of Sepulveda Blvd. to the Inglewood City Limits. The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services is managing this project. The medians will be planted with Camphor trees, the same tree that is planted in the medians between Sepulveda Blvd. and Lincoln.

To learn more about the Westchester Streetscape Improvement Association (and to donate), please visit their site: http://www.westchesterstreetscape.org/