Broken Ground Metro Crenshaw

01/21/2014 2:16 pm0 commentsViews: 19
 Local and federal officials - Metro Groundbreaking Photo by Gary McCarthy

Local and federal officials – Metro Groundbreaking
Photo by Gary McCarthy

 
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Local and federal officials broke ground today on a
light rail line project that will connect the Expo and Green lines, crossing
Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills and Inglewood.
“Bringing light rail to this community will spur local economic
development and make it easier than ever for residents to access downtown Los
Angeles and beyond,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said during
the ceremony at the Expo/Crenshaw light rail station.  The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board of directors last June
approved a nearly $1.3 billion contract for construction of the 8.5-mile
Crenshaw/LAX rail line. The board also approved a $160 million contingency fund
for the project, for a total budget of nearly $2.06 billion, according to
Metro.
The project is one of 12 funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax
approved by voters in 2008.
The U.S. Transportation Department’s Infrastructure Finance and
Innovation Act program made a $545.9 million loan toward the project.
“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in good
transportation projects like the Crenshaw/LAX line to create ladders of
opportunity for millions of Americans, and we are proud to help make this
project possible with a $545 million loan,” Foxx said.
The line will stretch from the Expo Line station at Crenshaw Boulevard
and travel south, eventually connecting with the Metro Green Line’s
Aviation/LAX station. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
“This has been a decades-long, monumental effort by an array of elected
officials, community advocates and Metro staff,” county Supervisor and Metro
board member Mark Ridley-Thomas said when the board approved the project last
year. “We did this together and now we are poised to begin construction on a
dream that will help millions.”
He noted that the line would would include sites such as Hollywood Park,
the Forum, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and Leimert Park.
Not everyone is happy about plans for the line. A group known as the
Crenshaw Subway Coalition contends that the portions of the line being built at
street level instead of underground “will devastate the last black business
corridor.”
Metro officials countered that a larger portion of the line will be
built below ground than other light rail lines, including the Expo Line.

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