JAMES CORNER, CIVIC CENTER PARKS DESIGNER, TO SPEAK HERE

Landscape architect James Corner, whose firm is designing Santa Monica’s Civic Center parks, “will draw from his experiences exploring the intersection between urbanism and landscape design to discuss the importance of parks to urban settings” in an appearance in the Martin Luther King, Jr. auditorium at the Santa Monica Public Library on Monday, June 13, at 7 pm.

James Corner Field Operations has done many projects abroad as well as in this country. His “High Line” in New York City, a 1.5 mile park installed on an abandoned elevated railway on the west side of New York, has won rave reviews.

His appearance is being sponsored by the Santa Monica Recreation & Parks Commission. Admission is free. Seating is limited.RSVPs are recommended. RSVPccs@smgov.net.

The MLK Jr Auditorium is wheelchair accessible. To request a disability-related accommodation, please call 310-458-8310 or email ccs@smgov.net at least 3 business days in advance. The Main Library (601 Santa Monica Blvd) is served by Big Blue Bus lines 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 & 10.

Autism Insurance Reform Shelved

The State Assembly Appropriations Committee once again demonstrated its skewed priorities when it voted last Friday to defer all bills relating to health insurance coverage until next year.

Among the bills that were put on hold was AB 171, an autism insurance reform measure

Autism Speaks/Autism Votes organized a phone campaign on behalf of AB 171, which targeted the Assembly Speaker and the Committee chair, but they were apparently unmoved.

MEANWHILE ON THE 405…

I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project
Office: 310-846-2357; Hotline: 213-922-3665

As part of the ongoing water line relocation in the Sunset Boulevard Bridge, the contractor will implement a full closure of South Church Lane between Sunset and Kiel Street for approximately four months, and will implement nightly closures of the bridge.

Full Church Lane closure is expected to start on Friday, June 3, at 9 pm and remain in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for approximately four months. Nightly full closures of Sunset Boulevard between Gunston Drive and Thurston Avenue are expected to start on June 13, for two weeks, and will continue intermittently. Work and closure times are from 10 pm to 6 am. This work is “weather permitting and is subject to change.”

And, in preparation for the removal of the existing retaining wall on Sepulveda, between Montana and Bronwood Avenue, the contractor will install k-rail on the east side of the street. Pedestrian access will be restricted and will be detoured to Church Lane. K-rail installation is expected to start on Thursday, June 2, and continue for three days between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm. Retaining wall removal is expected to start on Monday, June 6, and continue through Saturday, June 11, between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.

Extended 53-Hour Closure of I-405 Freeway Between U.S. 101 and I-10 Planned in Mid-July for Mulholland Bridge Demolition Work

Countdown to the Closure

Los Angeles, Calif. – Plan Ahead, Avoid The Area, Or Stay Home. That’s the message public safety officials are sending to the public in anticipation of a planned 10-mile, 53-hour closure of the I-405 freeway between the U.S. 101 and I-10 on the weekend of July 16-17, 2011 for planned demolition work on the Mulholland Bridge, part of a major I-405 improvement project.

The Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Metro and Caltrans are advising the public now that if they do not have a critical need to be in or near the vicinity of the closure, they should avoid the area.
The specific freeway closure boundaries are as follows:
•Northbound I-405: 10-mile closure between I-10 and U.S. 101
•Southbound I-405: 4-mile closure between U.S. 101 and Getty Center Drive Ramps

Motorists who must travel through the Los Angeles metropolitan area are advised to use alternate freeways within the region, including the 5, 15, 23, 55, 57, 101, 118, 126, 210, 605 and 710 freeways to bypass the impacted area. In addition, public transportation options are available such as the Metro Rail service within L.A. County and Metrolink servicing the five-county Southern California region. Additional alternate route information will be made available on the project web site at www.metro.net/405.
On Friday, July 15, ramps along the 10-mile closure will be shut down as early as 7 p.m., and closure of freeway lanes will begin at 10 p.m. to ensure full freeway closure by midnight. The closure will continue until 5 a.m. Monday morning, July 18. Ramps and connectors will be reopened by 6 a.m.

During this closure, the Mulholland Bridge, I-405 freeway and access ramps will be closed.

Sepulveda Boulevard is intended as an alternate route for local resident access only. It will not have the capacity to accommodate both local and diverted freeway traffic. Those using Sepulveda Boulevard should expect extreme congestion and lengthy delays. Motorists should use alternate regional freeway routes to completely bypass the Sepulveda Pass.

Traffic conditions on local streets and freeways within the region of Los Angeles County and beyond are expected to be severe, with significant, multi-hour delays. Motorists who must travel during this weekend are advised to plan ahead, monitor real-time traffic conditions prior to beginning their trips, and follow alternate routes that are provided. Motorists will be informed of the closure in advance by Caltrans-operated freeway message signs with coverage extending into neighboring counties and other metropolitan regions in the state.

Construction crews for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project plan to demolish half the Mulholland Bridge in the Sepulveda Pass of Los Angeles in order to build a new, widened bridge, and a major carpool lane. The construction activity is part of a $1 billion capacity improvement project for the I-405 freeway.
To reduce the work’s effects on local traffic flow, the Mulholland Bridge demolition and reconstruction will be conducted in two phases. The southern side of the bridge will be demolished first, followed by approximately 11 months of south-side bridge reconstruction. Upon completion of the south side, the northern side of the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt in the same manner. Another extended freeway closure period will be required for the second phase of work approximately one year later.

The Mulholland Bridge, like the Sunset and Skirball Center bridges, must be removed and rebuilt to accommodate the widening of the I-405 freeway as part of the 10-mile northbound carpool lane construction project. The project will officially complete the northbound carpool lane network between Orange County and the San Fernando Valley. Additional project benefits include improved freeway safety through standardized lane and shoulder widths, greater ramp capacities at key locations, new sound and retaining walls, widened overpasses, widened and seismically updated bridges and new landscaping within the project corridor.

The $1 billion project is a joint effort between Metro and Caltrans, and is being constructed by Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. It is scheduled for completion in 2013. For latest updates visit the project web site at www.metro.net/405 or follow the project on twitter: twitter.com/I_405 and Facebook at facebook.com/405project.

Thanks to George Wolfberg, president of the Santa Monica Canyon
Civic Association, for this vital, if depressing information.

CONSTRUCTION OF SEWER LINE ON PCH BEGINS

Delayed by pending CalTrans sign-off, the LA City Sewer upgrade (CIRS– Coastal Intercepter Relief Sewer) finally started this morning.

Work on this water quality improvement project will begin with the installation of concrete barriers (k-rails) on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway, today, May 31, through Saturday, June 4.

The ongoing sewer installation will begin Monday, June 6, on PCH between Temescal Canyon and Entrada Drive. Construction equipment and crews will be on-site. One Southbound lane will be closed daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., and two Southbound lanes will be closed nightly from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Project information: (877) 700-3069 or (213) 978-0317 www.LAPropO.org

JAZZ FOR JAPAN AT SAMOHI FRIDAY

Saturday, June 4, at 3 PM in Barnum Hall on the Samohi campus, the award-winning Samohi Jazz Bands & the Samohi Jazz Combo will be featured in their last concert of the year.

In this special event called, “Jazz For Japan,” the Samohi Jazz program has partnered with the Santa Monica Chapter of the American Red Cross, to raise money for the Japanese people who were devastated by the terrible chain of events that occurred recently in their country. Half of all proceeds from the concert will go toward the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief effort and the other half will go to support the Samohi Jazz program.

The Samohi Jazz bands, under the direction of Tom Whaley and Mike Corrigan, have had a spectacular year, with arguably the biggest accomplishment in Samohi Jazz history — winning the Berklee College of Music Jazz Festival in Boston in March.

With 200 bands and over 3000 students competing, both the Samohi big band and combo placed first in the biggest high school jazz festival in the world! In addition, three Samohi students were recognized for outstanding musicianship. Now you can see them LIVE!

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at Brown Paper tickets. http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/177251 or at the door on the day of the event. The General Admission ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 seniors and students. SMMUSD middle school music students are free.