FTA Grants Metro ROD For $1B Transit Corridor
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LOS ANGELES-The Federal Transit Administration has granted the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority a record of decision for the $1.37 billion Regional Connector Transit Corridor. The move certifies that the project has now satisfied all federal environmental guidelines and is an important prerequisite for Metro to begin final design of the nearly two-mile underground light rail line downtown. The MTA is also now able to seek federal funding to help build the line.
Regional Connector, partially funded with $160 million in Measure R sales-tax money approved by voters in 2008, is considered one of the region’s most significant transit projects because it will connect the Metro Gold Line, Blue Line and Expo Line through downtown L.A., enabling passengers to take a “one-seat ride” from Montclair to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica, CA.
“The Regional Connector is the vital link connecting the county’s regional transportation network by uniting the Gold Line, the Blue Line and the Expo Line—allowing for future one-seat trips between the San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach and the Westside,” said Michael D. Antonovich, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro board chair, in a prepared statement.
The line will include three new light rail stations in downtown at 1st/Central, 2nd/Broadway and 2nd/Hope. The new stations are estimated to provide access to 88,200 passengers, including approximately 17,700 new transit riders.
With the ROD now in hand, Metro can request initiation of final design and commence discussions with the FTA to secure a full funding grant agreement, which will constitute a federal matching contribution to the project. Metro estimates construction of the tunnel and new stations could begin in August 2013. Initial utility relocation work could begin this month, and if fully funded, the project could open in 2019. Metro staff is planning a round of community meetings, estimated to take place in late August, to discuss the stations and station-area design process.
Metro could not be reached by GlobeSt.com before deadline to discuss the Regional Connector’s potential impact on commercial real estate in the Los Angeles area.
As GlobeSt.com previously reported, in May the city had approximately 500 units of housing in the pipeline, including at least eight mixed-use projects combining residential and retail either under construction or in planning stages, a major impetus of which has been the completion of the Expo Light Rail line then anticipated for 2015, according to Lee & Associates-L.A North/Ventura Inc.
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