Crenshaw/LAX Line project holds community celebration; project is half complete

With construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line nearly half complete, Metro held a community celebration on Saturday in Leimert Park. The 8.5-mile light rail is funded largely by Measure R and is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Here’s the news release from Metro:

Elected officials and Metro executives held a community celebration at Leimert Park Village today to thank residents for their continued support during construction of the $2.058-billion Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project. The new rail line that will serve the Crenshaw District, Inglewood, Westchester, Los Angeles International Airport and many other neighborhoods is nearly halfway completed.

“I am so pleased to be going back to Leimert Park to celebrate the halfway completion of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, which will ultimately take Angelinos to the airport. The communities surrounding this Line have endured traffic, noise, dust and other nuisances related to construction over the past two years. Their sacrifice has not been in vain, as we already have a lot to show for it,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Mark Ridley-Thomas.  “The Crenshaw/LAX line is being built by local community members, and millions of dollars have been granted to local businesses. I hope everyone comes out on Saturday to celebrate this significant milestone.”

The family friendly event included performances by local artists, a mock train, displays of historic items found during construction, a video simulation of the project and a marketplace of local businesses participating in the Eat, Shop, Play local campaign program.

“Los Angeles County is in the midst of a transportation renaissance like none we have seen before,” said City of Duarte Council Member and Metro Board Vice Chair John Fasana. “The Crenshaw/LAX Project is a vital piece of our future transit network; when completed this network will serve our region well into the future.”

“Today we mark a milestone for LA, as we reach the halfway point of the Crenshaw/LAX project -a transit line that will finally bring rail to LAX and much needed traffic relief to some of our most congested and underserved communities,” said Los Angeles and Metro Board Second Vice Chair Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Resources and information was available on job opportunities, internships, pre-apprentice programs and on small business such as the Business Solution Center (BSC), and the Business Interruption Fund (BIF).

“Metro established the Business Solution Center, Business Interruption Fund and Eat Shop Play program very early in the construction process,” said Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Metro Board Member. “These are three very important mitigation programs that have been vital for the community of mom-and-pop businesses located along the construction zone for the Crenshaw/LAX construction project. It is important to recognize and protect the legacy businesses whose revenue may fluctuate during the construction period. Their survival is important to Metro, therefore connecting them with resources is vital. We want to recognize the sacrifice made by all businesses along the alignment and thank them for their patience.”

The new light-rail line will have eight new stations: Crenshaw/Expo, Martin Luther King Jr., Leimert Park, Hyde Park, Fairview Heights, Downtown Inglewood, Westchester/Veterans and Aviation/Century. Three stations will be underground, one will be aerial and four will be at street level. The project includes six new bridges, a light rail vehicle maintenance facility and power substations.

“Today we celebrate the halfway mark of the Crenshaw/LAX project, a huge milestone for the community, for Metro and for the city,” said Metro CEO Phil Washington. As a community, we must remain united in the goal of creating an infrastructure inheritance for our children. We are building not only for today, but for their future and the next one hundred years.”

About the Project

The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. Completion of the line is expected in 2019.

Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors (WSCC), the firm building the project, has reached several milestones along the 8.5-mile alignment since the project groundbreaking in early 2014:

•Harriet, the tunnel boring machine that will dig the twin rail tunnels under Crenshaw Boulevard, was lowered into the ground and is ready to launch.

•Excavation of the three underground stations is largely complete.

•Work is underway on bridges that will span La Brea Avenue, the 405 freeway, Manchester Boulevard, Century Boulevard and connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line with the Green Line.

•Work also continues on several segments where the train will run in covered trenches.

•Gutter, curb and sidewalk replacement is taking place in Park Mesa Heights.

•Design work is underway on the Southwestern Yard light rail vehicle maintenance facility that will be built by the contractor Hensel Phelps/Herzog JV.

Workers are expected to begin installing railroad tracks by the end of 2016.

Construction will begin on the Fairview Heights and Westchester/Veterans stations by the end of this year.

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