SANTA MONICA—Motorists faced heavier traffic in Santa Monica on Sunday, April 19 in the evening as a yearlong reconstruction project for the California Incline Bridge got underway.

The project began several hours earlier than scheduled.

The purpose of the project was to bring down a bridge connecting Ocean Avenue and California Avenue to the Pacific Coast Highway and reconstruct one that met seismic standards. The new bridge is also meant to include a wider sidewalk and bicycle lane.

The project was initially planned to begin at 5:00 a.m. on Monday, but the bridge was unexpectedly closed to traffic at about 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The project’s website stated, “Replacement of the bridge with a new structure, built to current seismic standards, will correct deficiencies in the bridge and make it safe for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian use.”

According to the website, federal funds were expected to pay for about 88.5 percent of reconstruction costs.