Pedestrians, heads up, you may be noticing some changes on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Patch noticed several Walk of Fame stars, 13 to be exact, were fenced off and broken up on Monday. The stars are located in front of the Gap at the Hollywood & Highland Center.
Turns out that the Hollywood Historic Trust is taking the lead on an improvement project for the iconic landmark, according to a news release from the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The work marks the start of a major facelift for the aging tourist attraction.
Construction began after Labor Day on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard, just west of Highland Avenue and will continue to an area in front of the Dolby Theatre.
Work is divided into three phases to minimize the impact at nearby businesses, the Metro station, and community.
The first two phases will be completed by year-end while the third phase is scheduled for March 2013 to avoid conflict with the holiday season and the 2013 Academy Awards.
Work includes the removal and replacement of terrazo panels and damaged stars. Crews have set aside historic elements of the star panels, which will be reused.
Additional work includes replacing the soil and the section below the surface as well as fixing broken curbs.
Due to the work, DASH and Metro bus stops in the area will be temporarily relocated.
The westbound lane adjacent to the curb will be closed for the duration of the first two phases of the project, and then re-opened until the third phase begins.
Plans to improve the sidewalk started in 2006. The trust faced issues of making much-needed improvements a permanent fix with concerns that any work could quickly break up again.
Following an evaluation, an expert recommended doubling the landmark's concrete base from four to eight inches and adding spacers to allow for movement.
The Trust tested a corner with heavy foot-traffic at Hollywood and Highland then let it sit for year. It was determined that the specifications worked and plans pushed forward.
To fund the improvements, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce created a "Friends of the Walk of Fame" program.
Absolut Vodka and L'Oreal contributed to the fund. The companies received honorary stars in front of the Hollywood & Highland Center. Metro, the Community Redevelopment Agency also agreed to contribute, but CRA funds were later lost when the state abolished the agency.
The project was originally estimated to cost $4 million, but is expected to exceed that. Crews are working in areas with the worst damage and other areas will follow as funding is raised.