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Construction under way to renew San Diego Trolley's Blue Line

The final phase of construction has begun on a project to modernize the 32-year-old San Diego Trolley Blue Line, San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) officials announced yesterday.

Major construction work began last week on the line, which is the most heavily used transit route in San Diego, with an average weekday ridership of more than 45,000, SANDAG officials said in a press release.

Rebuilding the line from Barrio Logan to San Ysidro includes setting up temporary boarding platforms, demolishing and rebuilding existing stations, and replacing track at several locations and adjacent grade crossings.

The Barrio Logan, Harborside and Pacific Fleet stations will be the first to be rebuilt; construction will last five to eight months at each location. Renovation of the remaining nine stations will be done in phases to minimize disruption to riders, SANDAG officials said.

When completed, the improved stations will include new boarding platforms to accommodate low-floor trolleys, electronic next-trolley-arrival signs, shelters and seating.

"The modernization of the Blue Line will make our system more efficient and accessible, enhancing the ridership experience for millions of passengers for years to come," said SANDAG Chairman Jack Dale.

SANDAG began trolley renewal work in conjunction with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System in 2010. More than half of the $660 million that will be spent on the trolley system will be invested in the Blue Line, SANDAG officials said.

The entire trolley renewal project is slated for completion in 2015.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2013