LACMTA Issues Draft EIS/EIR for West Santa Ana ProjectWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)/Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for a planned light rail line linking southeast LA County and downtown LA.
The Draft EIS/EIR for the 19-mile West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor (WSAB) project considers four alternative routes as well as potential land acquisition, transportation (i.e., traffic and parking), and noise impacts and mitigations. It is available for review and comment through Sept. 13, 2021.
The new line would traverse or be adjacent to Artesia, Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey, South Gate, Cudahy, Bell, Huntington Park, Vernon, unincorporated Florence-Firestone and DTLA, according to LACMTA (see map below). The southernmost part would be built along the former West Santa Ana Branch streetcar route on land that LACMTA owns.
The WSAB project also includes an approximately 10-mile shared corridor that runs along the Union Pacific-owned Wilmington and La Habra branches and the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach-owned San Pedro Subdivision.
Of the four route alternatives (see details on each below), LACMTA staff is currently recommending the 14.8-mile Alternative 3. Following a review of public comments, it will decide on and recommend a route to the Board of Directors, which is expected to select the locally preferred alternative this fall.
Alternative 1 is slated to cost approximately $8.5 billion-$8.8 billion (without design options); Alternative 2, $9.2 billion-$9.5 billion; Alternative 3, $4.9 billion-$5.1 billion; and Alternative 4, $2.3 billion-$2.6 billion.
LACMTA reported it has about $4 billion from Measure M—the sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2016—and other local, state and federal sources for the project, and is exploring the potential for public-private partnerships.
By summer 2022, its anticipated that the Board will certify a final EIR and the Federal Transit Administration will issue a Record of Decision for the final EIS.