East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Construction To Start This Year

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
(East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Rendering, Courtesy of LACMTA)
(East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Rendering, Courtesy of LACMTA)

SAN FERNANDO – Construction on the ESFV LRT will begin in the middle of the year and start the Metro G Line from Van Nuys to Sylmar Metrolink Station.

This year, East San Fernando Light Rail will begin construction. Moving into a new phase, this is the first light rail train in the East Valley, according to the San Fernando Sun. It will start at the Metro G Line (Orange) rapid bus in Van Nuys and end at Sylmar Metrolink Station. The route includes Panorama City, Arleta, Pacoima, and San Fernando.

The project has two segments. The first is the southern segment and is a 6.7-mile track with 11 stations that runs from Van Nuys to Pacoima. The second (northern) 2.5-mile segment runs from Pacoima to Sylmar and passes through San Fernando.

Congressman Tony Cárdenas said, “Thousands of families in my district depend on public transportation to get to work or to school and they need premium transportation options for their everyday lives. . . The East San Fernando Valley Light Rail project accomplishes just that.”

According to the release, Metro is conducting a supplemental study on the northern section that is slated to be completed later this year. In addition, transit stations on this segment have yet to be confirmed. Metro has received $700 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, and $66.9 million of that is “being used to help fund the southern segment of ESFV LRT.”

With a construction contract awarded to San Fernando Transit Constructors Joint Venture (SFTCJV), construction on the southern segment is scheduled to start later this year and should be completed in 2031. However, there are delays and interruptions.

SFTCJV’s Rafi Bulatewicz said, “A lot of our work is planned to be during the daytime for the noisier activities like removing the asphalt and digging, while the nighttime will be more quiet activities like laying the conduit and placing the concrete.” Additionally, Bulatewicz said two north and southbound lanes will be open on Van Nuys Boulevard during the day with extended closures occurring at night.

Metro will host meetings with the public to listen to concerns about construction. Recently, an in-person meeting was held in Panorama City with a 30-minute Q&A was held wherein community members asked questions about “safety, noise, bike lanes, shade, power usage, digital equity investment and cultural preservation.” However, a prominent issue raised was surrounding the loss of parking along Van Nuys Boulevard. Metro said with its environmental review, it will “remove curbside parking on Van Nuys Boulevard due to space constraints.”

For businesses located near the construction, the Business Interruption Fund (BIF) “provides financial assistance through grants to small businesses that are immediately adjacent to the transit rail corridor.” In order to receive funds, businesses need to apply to the program with proof of loss of income during construction. As well, residents near construction “can be financially compensated for their move through the Relocation Assistance Program adopted by the Metro board last November.”

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