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U.S. Rep. Lieu tours completed California light-rail extension

Metro Chief Executive Officer Phillip Washington (left) speaking with Rep. Lieu at La Cienega/Jefferson Station.
Photo – National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) joined Skanska and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) officials last week on a tour of the completed second phase of the Exposition light-rail project, which extended service from Culver City to Santa Monica, California.

A Skanska-Rados Joint Venture obtained the design-build construct for the project in March 2011. The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) presented the joint venture with the "Large Project of the Year" award in 2016.

The association organized last week's tour, according to an NRC press release.

"We believe this project shows how a transit project can have benefits beyond mobility," said Brian Freund, vice president of operations at Skanska USA. "This project provided work for a significant number of local, traditionally under-utilized businesses and trade workers while also showing the benefit of design-build delivery for the tax-paying community."

The tour began at the La Cienga/Jefferson Station. The project included the addition of seven stations — two aerial, four at grade and one elevated — and extended the Metro Expo Line by 6.6 miles. Construction began in 2012 and was completed last year.

During the tour, Lieu talked about the need for continued investment in the nation's transit-rail systems. The Expo Line's second phase connects diverse neighborhoods in his 33rd congressional district, he added.

The tour group discussed the importance of the federal Capital Investment Grants and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant programs that support rail infrastructure investment as well as transportation, housing, and urban development goals.

Also attending the tour were Rick Meade, executive officer of program management, Metro; Frank Alejandro, senior executive officer, Metro; Jonathan Hofert, senior engineer, Metro; Will Resch, vice president of grassroots advocacy, NRC; Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, member, Metro's board and Los Angeles appointee; John Bello, engineer, Skanska; and Bernard Jackson, senior executive officer, rail transportation operations, Metro.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/18/2017