Expo Line releases final environmental report for Phase 2 from Culver City to Santa Monica

The proposed route for the second phase of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica

The proposed route for the second phase of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica. Click above for a larger image. The broken purple line indicates the preferred route alternative that the Expo Line is studying.

The final environmental document for Phase 2 of the Expo Line light rail project from Culver City to Santa Monica was released today with several key changes.

The entire final environmental impact report is on the Expo Line Construction Authority website and a press release from the Authority is after the jump. From the press release, here are the key changes to the way the line is being designed:

•Inclusion of a design option that removes the park-and-ride lot at the Westwood station;

•A Maintenance Facility design option which includes Santa Monica College and Verizon properties with a 100-110 foot buffer, providing additional protection from the residential community to the south of the proposed facility;

•Accommodation of a continuous bikeway from the Phase 1 terminus to Santa Monica;

•An additional grade separation at Centinela;

•Addition of a 3rd northbound lane on Sepulveda for the at-grade crossing;

•Inclusion of a design option for grade separation at Sepulveda if outside funding sources become available.

There has been some controversy in the community over which streets the Expo Line will cross at street level and those it will go over on a bridge. The plans for the line still include street level crossings at Overland, Westwood and Sepulveda. Some residents have complained that frequent train crossings of those busy streets will delay north-south traffic in the area; the city of Los Angeles transportation department has signed off on the street-level crossings. The final EIR includes a detailed discussion on the impacts of both street level and grade separated crossings, as well as traffic analyses done on the area over the past eight months.

The Board of the Construction Authority will vote on whether to certify the final EIR at its Feb. 4 meeting and can vote to change specific design options at that meeting. If the Board approves the FEIR, the line can move forward toward construction. The Authority is an independent agency that is building the line; when it’s complete Metro will operate it.

Also, the Board is scheduled to vote to certify the FEIR at the Feb 4th meeting but will have the ability to vote on specific design options at that meeting as well. So just to clarify, if the Board approves the project, then the project can go forward but there are design options that may or not be adopted and they are at the Board’s discretion.

Phase 2 of the Expo Line is a Measure R project and is scheduled to open in 2015. The first phase of the project from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City is under construction although the opening date for the line still hasn’t been set as some design issues are being resolved — most prominently, the design of the line near Dorsey High School.

Here is the full press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Expo Line Issues Final Environmental Impact Report for Phase 2 Extension
Changes Reflect Response to Community Input;  Project Provides Transit Alternative for Congested Westside

Los Angeles (December 18, 2009) – Today, the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority (Expo Authority) issued its Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

The FEIR represents the final environmental document regarding Expo Phase 2 – the proposed extension of the Expo Light Rail Line from Culver City to Santa Monica – that will be considered for certification by the Expo Authority Board on February 4, 2010.  Should the Board certify the document and approve the project, engineering and design work will commence and construction may begin in late 2010.

As the result of extensive analysis and in response to community input received during the public comment process and over the last eight months, the FEIR incorporates several significant changes from the Draft EIR (DEIR).  The changes demonstrate the Authority’s commitment to extending high-capacity, high-frequency transit service from the Westside of Los Angeles to Santa Monica – an area that is currently underserved by mass transit – in a manner that best serves transit riders, stakeholders and the community.

Key changes in the FEIR include:

•Inclusion of a design option that removes the park-and-ride lot at the Westwood station;

•A Maintenance Facility design option which includes Santa Monica College and Verizon properties with a 100-110 foot buffer, providing additional protection from the residential community to the south of the proposed facility;

•Accommodation of a continuous bikeway from the Phase 1 terminus to Santa Monica;

•An additional grade separation at Centinela;

•Addition of a 3rd northbound lane on Sepulveda for the at-grade crossing;

•Inclusion of a design option for grade separation at Sepulveda if outside funding sources become available.

“The release of the Final Environmental Impact Report for Expo’s second phase marks another milestone on the road to completing this vital public transit link,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.  “It is now up to the Expo Authority Board to carefully evaluate this document and make its final judgment on this project for which Westside communities have been waiting so long.”

The Expo Phase 2 project is expected to attract a ridership of approximately 65,000 per day.  With the ability to carry residents between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica in under 50 minutes – even during rush hour – the Expo Line will improve transportation mobility for residents and commuters along the corridor, provide an alternative to the heavily congested I-10 freeway and east-west arterials, increase the capacity of the transportation system in Los Angeles County and provide enhanced access to employment and activity centers, including downtown Los Angeles, Culver City, Santa Monica and other destinations in the corridor.  The entire region will benefit from reduced air pollution, increased energy efficiency and the associated environmental benefits that come from taking cars off the road.

The FEIR is comprised of the DEIR with revisions, comments received during the public review period, and responses to the comments.  The FEIR is available online at www.buildexpo.org.

On Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., the Expo Authority Board will consider a recommendation to certify the FEIR and approve the project.  This meeting will be held in the Board of Supervisors’ hearing room on the third floor of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration.

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  1. […] Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort Final Plan for Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica Released Final Plan for Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica Released – LAist Which route do you like? http://www.buildexpo.org/phase2/Phas…utMap_FEIR.pdf Plans 1, 2, 3 or 4? It looks like they prefer plan 2: The proposed route for the second phase of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica. Click above for a larger image. The broken purple line indicates the preferred route alternative that the Expo Line is studying. The Source Expo Line releases final environmental report for Phase 2 from Culver City to Santa Monic… […]

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