The first part of Laguna Beach’s long-awaited Village Entrance project will be completed and the next section will begin on schedule next week, according to the city.
Phase 1B, which will begin Tuesday, will reopen parking Lot 10 on Laguna Canyon Road with 63 spaces and close neighboring Lot 11, said city spokeswoman Cassie Walder. Lot 11 will be demolished and rebuilt with 49 spaces, she said.
Also during Phase 1B, a new public trail with landscaping will be installed along Laguna Canyon Road between the Art-A-Fair grounds and Forest Avenue, according to the city.
That phase is scheduled to end in May.
Phase 1A, which broke ground in September, renovated Lot 10 with 43 new box trees as well as new paving stones.
“[A] portion of the parking lot features decorative concrete pavers that allow storm water to fall into the cracks and recharge the groundwater system rather than draining into the storm drains,” said Mark Trestik, acting city engineer.
Lot 10 will close again briefly in the spring to widen the entrance of an existing vehicle bridge that crosses a drainage channel, the city said. Until then, vehicles will have to yield to other traffic when entering or exiting the parking lot, as the entrance isn’t big enough to allow two vehicles at once.
Project construction will pause during the summer and resume in September with Phase 2A, which will close the employee lot behind Lot 11 for construction.
Phase 2B, which will reopen the employee lot and temporarily close Lot 12, is expected to begin in January 2020 with a projected end in May 2020.
The City Council approved a construction bid in August for the overall $11.1-million Village Entrance project, which was decades in the making and envisions a safer and more inviting gateway where Laguna Canyon Road becomes Broadway at Forest Avenue. The project is intended to lessen traffic jams downtown with new bridges, access roads and improved circulation at parking areas.