For many, it already feels like construction central. A sewer project has slowed down Pacific Coast Highway for months. The Expo light rail has blocked off Colorado Avenue. New developments seem to be everywhere.
"I really have to allow extra time and you have to be patient," said Ninkey Dalton, a resident.
And now the closing of the California incline beginning Monday will make traffic even worse. The incline is scheduled to be shut down for at least a year for a $20 million project seismic upgrade project.
Top news of the day
Residents fear they will be even more trapped.
"Cars are lined up all the way back past the school," said George Wolfberg, who represents Pacific Palisades residents. "They're lined up here as far as the eye can see. It's amazing traffic.
He worries drivers will jam up streets looking for shortcuts.
That's why signs have gone up, diverting drivers to alternate routes.
City officials say the more traffic cameras and traffic officers will ease congestion, which they expect will be the worst in week one.
"Once people adjust and they find the routes that work best for them, then ... I think we'll see traffic stabilizing into a new modified flow," said Susan Cline, the city of Santa Monica public works director.
The city says the payoff will be a seismically upgraded California incline with more space for bicycles and pedestrians. No one will be more impacted than postal deliverer Larry Bratti — yet he's at peace.
"You can't get mad at it," said Bratti, a postal worker. "They gotta do it ... life goes on."