For years, renovation of the Laguna Beach Village Entrance has been the topic of workshops and walking tours. But on Tuesday, the city will welcome the public to the official groundbreaking ceremony for the $11.1-million project.
The event comes about a month after the City Council approved an $8.4-million construction contract. The groundbreaking starts at 4 p.m. between parking lots 10 and 11 near 725 Laguna Canyon Road (where Laguna Canyon becomes Broadway at Forest Avenue).
The plan envisions a more inviting entrance to Laguna Beach along its primary inland thoroughfare.
The city says the Village Entrance project will enhance the area’s safety and beauty and create a pedestrian-friendly environment by developing paths for walkers and bicyclists.
City officials also hope to tackle some of the downtown congestion by creating new bridges, access roads and parking areas with improved circulation. The plan also includes 120 new trees, 9,100 new shrubs and 2,200 flats of ground cover.
The city also is looking to patch up and repaint the 1930s-era sewer digester building at the site. Currently, the digester is used for police storage.
The entire project, to be done in four stages, is expected to be completed by summer 2020, with year-round work except for a construction break next summer. Public parking will be fully available until January, the city says.
This month, the area between Lots 10 and 11 will be prepared for landscaping improvements and pathway construction. One of the two exits in Lot 11 will be temporarily closed to provide construction access for the creation of a new bridge.
The city offered a reminder that parking permit policies will not change while construction is going on.
Construction schedule and parking closures for Village Entrance project
September to January
All parking lots in the area will be available, except for the space between Lots 10 and 11.
January to May
Parking available: Lots 10 and 12 and employee lot
Parking closed: Lot 11
Pause in summer 2019
September 2019 to January 2020
Parking available: Lots 10, 11 and 12
Parking closed: Employee lot
January 2020 to May 2020
Parking available: Lots 10 and 11 and employee lot