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A project to temporarily reduce Hermosa Avenue and Pier Avenue to one lane each to bolster retail foot traffic and outdoor dining will begin Monday, Jan. 11 and last approximately 10 working days, according to the city.

The lane closures, which will last at least six months, was approved late last year by the Hermosa Beach City Council before outdoor dining was shut down by county health orders due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This project will put in place the measures to allow for more spacious outdoor dining when it is allowed to return, per the health orders,” said Doug Krauss, environmental programs manager for the city. “In the meantime, it will serve its other goals of allowing for more pedestrian-friendly spaces and enhancing mobility options.”

In August, the temporary closing of vehicular traffic to one lane on both sides of Hermosa Avenue closest to the curbs from the 800 block of 8th Street to the 1300 block of 14th was approved, along with an additional bike lane buffer and angle parking. The following month, the project on Pier Avenue was approved as well.

According to a December letter from the city to Hermosa Beach residents and businesses, the construction will temporarily impact traffic and parking and will cause noise from construction and its equipment.

Traffic counting, which includes sensors in the streets, will take place for six months, according to Krauss.

“The City is performing traffic counts both before and during the project to determine information on speeds, volumes and patterns,” Krauss said. “Additional monitoring and community feedback will be gathered during the project.”

Hermosa Beach Mayor Justin Massey said in an email the project will ensure that improvements are completed when expanded outdoor dining is allowed to resume.

“I am optimistic our compliance with COVID-19 protocols and broad distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines will reduce infections and hospitalizations to a level that allows a return to normal social and economic activity this spring or summer,” Massey said.

"The power to get there is in our hands. We will be ready.”

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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