The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) board approved contracts with two private sector teams for pre-development work on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project using a first-of-its-kind public-private model.
The mega-project is planned to connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and eventually LAX via a high-speed, high-capacity transit line, connecting two busy destinations for residents and workers.
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel was awarded a $69.9-million contract to further develop its proposed heavy rail transit solution concept. More than 60% of the partner team’s proposed heavy rail concept would travel underground, with the remainder of the line traveling primarily in an aerial section. A Valley-to-Westside trip would take just under 20 minutes according to the team’s proposal. The team’s estimated costs for constructing this proposed solution is $10.8 billion.
Meanwhile, LA SkyRail Express was awarded a $63.6-million contract to further develop its proposed monorail concept that would be an aerial alignment primarily within the I-405 right-of-way between the Valley and Westside. Proposed travel times via monorail are estimated at 24 minutes. The LA SkyRail Express team’s baseline proposal cost for building the monorail concept is $6.1 billion.
Now that pre-development agreements (PDAs) have been approved, Metro plans to begin the environmental review process this fall, where concept designs for these and other alternatives will be advanced and/or refined through extensive, ongoing public feedback and technical investigation and analysis.
At its sole discretion, Metro retains the ability to continue the partnership through final design with one of the private sector teams if its transit concept is consistent with the project’s Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) that will be selected by the Metro Board. Metro also retains the right to pursue a different project and delivery path, if necessary.
One of the private sector teams may have an opportunity after the LPA is selected to submit a proposal to build and potentially help finance the project, potentially accelerating construction and improving project performance. PDAs enable early contractor involvement in Metro’s transit project and increase the likelihood that the project can be built via a public-private partnership that allows for innovations in design, engineering, construction approach, financing, and operations.
The Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project is funded in part by Measure M, the transportation sales tax approved by 71% of Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The total project will receive $9.5 billion in funding from Measure M and other local, state, and federal sources.