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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (LA Metro) board last week certified the final environmental impact report (EIR) for the agency’s planned light-rail line in California's San Fernando Valley.
The certification ends the state-required environmental review process and advances the East San Fernando light-rail project closer toward construction between Van Nuys Station and the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station. The line will include 14 stations.
A federal environmental review process is expected to conclude in January. LA Metro expects the Federal Transit Administration to confirm the project meets all federal environmental guidelines, which would make it eligible for federal funding, agency officials said in a press release.
A key item contained in the board’s EIR approval is the option for the line to be built in segments. That will enable the agency to begin pre-construction work as early as next year on the first 6.7-mile segment between the G Line in Van Nuys to San Fernando Road in Pacoima.
Subject to additional funding, a second, 2.5-mile segment would extend the line along the San Fernando rail right-of-way north to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station.
LA Metro will continue to study the second segment after receiving new stakeholder comments during the public review period of the final environmental impact report. LA Metro staff will coordinate with the Southern California Regional Rail Authority — the agency that operates the Metrolink Antelope Valley Line — and the city of San Fernando to address concerns mainly related to shared track and railroad crossings along San Fernando Road.
Major construction on the East San Fernando project is slated to begin in 2022. The line is scheduled to open by 2028.