L.A. breaks ground on $2B rail line to airport

Posted on January 21, 2014

Credit: Metro
Credit: Metro
Los Angeles Metro broke ground Tuesday morning on the Los Angeles Metro's Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, an 8.5-mile, $2.058-billion light-rail line that will run between the Expo and Green lines and is expected to open in 2019. The project will also bring Metro Rail closer to Los Angeles International Airport.

The groundbreaking bought together top officials from federal, state and local government, including U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Demolition of some existing structures will be among the first work done, with heavy construction expected to begin this spring.

“Thousands of hard-working families and seniors living in Crenshaw depend on public transportation every day to get to work, to school, and to obtain medical care,” said Secretary Foxx. “Bringing light rail to this community will create jobs, spur local economic development and make it easier than ever for residents to access downtown Los Angeles and beyond.”

The new Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will be the first rail line to serve Crenshaw Boulevard and the city of Inglewood since the streetcars of the Los Angeles Rail Line (known as the “Yellow Cars”) stopped running in 1955. In some places, the new light rail line will use the old alignment for the streetcars.

The new light rail line will serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester and the area around Los Angeles International Airport with eight stations, a maintenance facility and park-and-ride lots.

In a separate project, planners at both Metro and Los Angeles World Airports officials are working together on the Airport Metro Connector that will link the Crenshaw/LAX Line to the LAX terminals via light rail, a people mover or a combination of the two.

The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is one of 12 major transit projects funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The project is also receiving other state and local funds.

The federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program, which provides credit assistance for infrastructure projects and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Transportation, provided a $545.9-million loan toward the Crenshaw/LAX Line. The project also is expected to receive approximately $130 million in other funds from the U.S. DOT and the Federal Transit Administration.

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