The new alternative now enjoys full community support and will consist of two variations for a complete underground crossing at this intersection, keeping trains fully grade-separated. It also includes an additional underground station. Portals would be built on both First and Alameda Streets to allow trains to surface and connect to the existing Metro Gold Line both to Pasadena and East Los Angeles.
The project team is preparing the project's Draft Environmental Impact Study/Report and will now conduct the technical studies needed to determine costs, impacts and benefits of the alternative projected to cost roughly between $200 million and $300 million. As part of the environmental review process, planners will consider ways to reduce these additional costs. The agency is scheduled to present a Locally Preferred Alternative for final environmental review to its Board of Directors later this year.
If fully funded through a combination of local, state and federal funds, the project could break ground in 2014 and open in the 2018-2019 timeframe.
A partially funded Measure R project, the Regional Connector seeks to complete a nearly two-mile transit gap between the Metro Gold Line, Metro Blue Line and future Expo Line through downtown Los Angeles. The project will minimize the need for transfers, reducing one-way light rail trips across the county by 10 to 30 minutes or more.