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Metro light rail for Crenshaw Corridor, advanced Green Line extension

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved light rail transit as the Locally Preferred Alternative for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor transportation project. Also, the Board, in approving the Harbor Subdivision Transit Corridor Alternative Analysis Study, ordered further study in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Report of an extension of Metro Green Line rail service to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center in the South Bay area of the region. The light rail alternative will be 8.5 miles from the Metro Green Line Aviation Station to the Expo Line, now under construction, at Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, with a travel time estimated at 20 minutes. There will be seven new stations plus an option for one more. The final Environment Impact Study/Environment Impact Report could be ready by the end of 2010, with the line scheduled to open in 2018.

The project is estimated to cost $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. An
estimated 7,800 construction jobs will be created annually by the
project. Funding will come from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax
initiative approved by Los Angeles County voters last November to
improve the region’s mobility and create the transportation
infrastructure needed to help resolve local traffic congestion, air
pollution and enhance economic development.

The Board also
approved a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
to study the costs and impacts of constructing a one-mile segment on
Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 59th Streets, currently proposed to
run at street level, as an underground alignment. Some sections north
of 48th Street and south of 59th Street are already being studied as
underground segments. The Ridley-Thomas motion also included the new
official name of the project: "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor."

In
another adopted motion proposed maintenance and operations facilities
in El Segundo and Westchester were removed from the project. The motion
was presented by Los Angeles County Supervisor Dan Knabe.

The
Crenshaw Transit Corridor project is a major north-south investment in
the Crenshaw District area, potentially providing relief for the I-405
and I-110 freeways. It also will provide a major connection to LAX
connecting the Metro Green Line to the south with the proposed LAX
Automated Peoples Mover System and the Expo Line to the north. The
project would provide connections to the entire Metro Rail system and
Metro’s more than 2,100 peak-hour buses.

The study area for the
Crenshaw Corridor Project includes the cities of Los Angeles,
Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo and portions of unincorporated Los
Angeles County and covers approximately a 33-square mile area from
Wilshire Boulevard to the north, El Segundo Boulevard to the South,
Arlington Avenue on the east and Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera
Boulevard/La Brea Avenue on the west.

Regarding the Green Line
Extension, included in further environmental study will be an extension
of rail service from either the Metro Green Line Marine Station or
Imperial Station to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center
operating on either new light rail tracks or on the existing freight
tracks via the Harbor Subdivision Right-of-Way. In addition, the study
will examine a No Build option and a Transportation Systems Management
alternative that would include enhancing bus service in the area.


The
Harbor Subdivision is a freight rail corridor, approximately 26 miles
long that traverses southwest Los Angeles County from Vernon to
Wilmington. It encompasses the jurisdictions of Huntington Park,
Vernon, City of Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, El Segundo,
Lawndale, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Carson, portions of
unincorporated Los Angeles County, Long Beach and the Port areas of Los
Angeles and Long Beach. In the early 1990s, Metro purchased the portion
of the corridor between Redondo Junction and Watson Yard, along with
several other rail rights-of-way, to further the development of the
region’s rapid transit system. Although owned by Metro, BNSFoperates
freight service along the corridor. Together with the planned Crenshaw
Transit Corridor, the Harbor Subdivision would establish a north-south
transit link to LAX and potential South Bay destinations.


In taking
the action the Board approved a $5-million contract option with STV,
Inc., to prepare the DEIS/R and to conduct community outreach for the
project.  Staff made the recommendation to advance into environmental
review the Metro Green Line Extension to the RTC given its performance
in terms of system connectivity, cost-effectiveness and partial funding
through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by the voters in
November 2008.
Under Measure R, the project is provided $272 million
in funding for the Metro Green Line Extension to the South Bay
Corridor. This project is contained in the constrained element of the
adopted 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan. In May 2009, the Board
directed the CEO to set aside $5 million to continue the multi-year
environmental clearance process begun in the AA.


Construction costs
for a Metro Green Line light rail transit extension to Torrance (4.6
miles) are estimated at $495 million (2009 dollars) and would generate
approximately 5,800 daily riders. The cost for an extension using the
freight tracks (8.7 miles) and alternate rail technologies such as Self
Propelled Rail or Commuter Rail Transit vehicles is estimated at $428
million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 3,300 daily
riders.


Along with approving the AA study and moving the project
into the Draft EIS/R, the Board renamed the project the South Bay Green
Line Extension.The project is estimated to cost $1.3 billion in today’s dollars. An
estimated 7,800 construction jobs will be created annually by the
project. Funding will come from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax
initiative approved by Los Angeles County voters last November to
improve the region’s mobility and create the transportation
infrastructure needed to help resolve local traffic congestion, air
pollution and enhance economic development.

The Board also
approved a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
to study the costs and impacts of constructing a one-mile segment on
Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 59th Streets, currently proposed to
run at street level, as an underground alignment. Some sections north
of 48th Street and south of 59th Street are already being studied as
underground segments. The Ridley-Thomas motion also included the new
official name of the project: "Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor."

In
another adopted motion proposed maintenance and operations facilities
in El Segundo and Westchester were removed from the project. The motion
was presented by Los Angeles County Supervisor Dan Knabe.

The
Crenshaw Transit Corridor project is a major north-south investment in
the Crenshaw District area, potentially providing relief for the I-405
and I-110 freeways. It also will provide a major connection to LAX
connecting the Metro Green Line to the south with the proposed LAX
Automated Peoples Mover System and the Expo Line to the north. The
project would provide connections to the entire Metro Rail system and
Metro’s more than 2,100 peak-hour buses.

The study area for the
Crenshaw Corridor Project includes the cities of Los Angeles,
Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo and portions of unincorporated Los
Angeles County and covers approximately a 33-square mile area from
Wilshire Boulevard to the north, El Segundo Boulevard to the South,
Arlington Avenue on the east and Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera
Boulevard/La Brea Avenue on the west.

Regarding the Green Line
Extension, included in further environmental study will be an extension
of rail service from either the Metro Green Line Marine Station or
Imperial Station to the proposed Torrance Regional Transit Center
operating on either new light rail tracks or on the existing freight
tracks via the Harbor Subdivision Right-of-Way. In addition, the study
will examine a No Build option and a Transportation Systems Management
alternative that would include enhancing bus service in the area.


The
Harbor Subdivision is a freight rail corridor, approximately 26 miles
long that traverses southwest Los Angeles County from Vernon to
Wilmington. It encompasses the jurisdictions of Huntington Park,
Vernon, City of Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Inglewood, El Segundo,
Lawndale, Torrance, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Carson, portions of
unincorporated Los Angeles County, Long Beach and the Port areas of Los
Angeles and Long Beach. In the early 1990s, Metro purchased the portion
of the corridor between Redondo Junction and Watson Yard, along with
several other rail rights-of-way, to further the development of the
region’s rapid transit system. Although owned by Metro, BNSFoperates
freight service along the corridor. Together with the planned Crenshaw
Transit Corridor, the Harbor Subdivision would establish a north-south
transit link to LAX and potential South Bay destinations.


In taking
the action the Board approved a $5-million contract option with STV,
Inc., to prepare the DEIS/R and to conduct community outreach for the
project.  Staff made the recommendation to advance into environmental
review the Metro Green Line Extension to the RTC given its performance
in terms of system connectivity, cost-effectiveness and partial funding
through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by the voters in
November 2008.
Under Measure R, the project is provided $272 million
in funding for the Metro Green Line Extension to the South Bay
Corridor. This project is contained in the constrained element of the
adopted 2009 Long Range Transportation Plan. In May 2009, the Board
directed the CEO to set aside $5 million to continue the multi-year
environmental clearance process begun in the AA.


Construction costs
for a Metro Green Line light rail transit extension to Torrance (4.6
miles) are estimated at $495 million (2009 dollars) and would generate
approximately 5,800 daily riders. The cost for an extension using the
freight tracks (8.7 miles) and alternate rail technologies such as Self
Propelled Rail or Commuter Rail Transit vehicles is estimated at $428
million (2009 dollars) and would generate approximately 3,300 daily
riders.
Along with approving the AA study and moving the project
into the Draft EIS/R, the Board renamed the project the South Bay Green
Line Extension.

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