Year-long construction project begins in Bel Air

A yearlong construction project to update aging power lines will begin today in the Bel Air area along the 405 Freeway on Sunset Boulevard.

Work on Sunset Boulevard between the 405 Freeway and Bellagio Road will begin near the highway and continue east toward Bellagio. Construction is planned in 500-feet increments.

Sunset Boulevard between South Beverly Glen Boulevard and Carolwood Drive will have construction taking place at the same time as the 405-to- Bellagio area.

"When it comes to projects of this nature, there is never a convenient time for infrastructure updates. Although we recognize the inconvenience it may cause in the short term, the long-term benefits will serve the needs of our residents and families in the area," said City Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents the district where the project will take place.

"The plan and mitigations in place is a result of an exhaustive collaboration between city agencies and community partnerships, and we are most grateful for your cooperation."

Construction crews with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will work primarily in the two middle lanes of Sunset. During construction, at least one lane will remain open in each direction. Officials said people should use alternate routes to avoid the area during work hours if possible.

Traffic control officers are planned to be stationed at several points along Sunset to manage traffic flow. Electronic message boards will also be in place throughout the construction zone and adjacent streets.

UCLA officials said the work may cause travel delays for patients, visitors and staff trying to reach Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, the Medical Plaza complex and other UCLA Health and David Geffen School of Medicine facilities in Westwood.

Construction hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The LADWP Bel Air/Sunset Power Project is intended to provide modernized power infrastructure to Bel Air and surrounding areas. The area's aging system, built in the 1930s, has been prone to power outages due to increased demand. The circuits that provide power to those areas are operating at 120 percent over capacity, according to DWP officials.

CNS contributed to this report.