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LA Metro unveils alternatives for Crenshaw/LAX northern extension

The cost of each proposed alternative exceeds current funding allocations, agency staff said.
Photo – LA Metro


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has released a feasibility study examining five potential light-rail routes for the Crenshaw/LAX Line's northern extension.

Four alternatives would extend the line north to the Purple Line subway and then through West Hollywood to the Red Line. The other proposed route would extend the Crenshaw/LAX Line to the Red and Purple lines at Vermont Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard near LA's Koreatown neighborhood.

The Crenshaw/LAX Line is an 8.5-mile light-rail line under construction between the Green and Expo lines.

Metro is dedicating $2.33 billion of Measure M funds to pay for the extension. However, the cost of all five alternatives exceed funding allocations, some by almost double the available funds.

The Crenshaw/LAX northern extension would cost $3 billion to $4.7 billion, according to the report.

And although local elected officials have expressed interest in fast-tracking the project, any potential acceleration strategy would need to address the funding issue, "either through mitigating cost, securing new revenue or a hybrid of both," Metro officials wrote in a separate staff report.

"To better target project delivery options and a funding strategy, there is a need to conduct broad public outreach and potential further technical study to prepare for a next stage of environmental review," they wrote.

Under the Measure M plan approved by voters in November 2016, the agency expects to break ground on the northern extension in fiscal year 2041, with an opening in 2047, unless the project is accelerated.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/24/2018