Monday, March 21, 2011

LA Expo Line Phase 2 advances

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The second phase of Los Angeles’ Expo light rail transit line Friday moved ahead as the Expo Construction Authority awarded a $541 million contract to Skanska/Rados. The authority also voted to approve a bridge over Sepulveda Boulevard, in order to placate homeowners fearing gridlock caused by any at-grade crossing.

Expo Phase 2, budgeted at $1.5 billion, is scheduled to open sometime in 2015. The extended line will run from the end-point of the Phase 1 terminus, in Culver City, to 4th Street and Colorado Boulevard in Santa Monica. Phase 1, set to open this November, runs from Culver City east, merging with the existing Blue Line LRT operations at Washington Boulevard and continuing to 7th Street/Metro Center.

The bridge spanning Sepulveda Boulevard is more expensive than the original plan for an at-grade crossing, but the cost is offset to some degree because the authority need not buy land to widen the road. The City of Los Angeles has agreed to pay the difference, approximately $5.3 million.

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