Century Crunch, update #4

Work on demolishing and removing the old railroad bridge over Century Boulevard was slightly ahead of schedule through late Saturday afternoon with the road scheduled to reopen by 6 a.m. Monday. The above video was taken about 4:15 p.m. today.

The portion of the bridge spanning Century Boulevard has been taken down and about 1,000 tons of debris is being removed from the road and is being moved to a nearby staging site for further “processing.” The material will be removed at a later date in an effort not to clog up traffic in the LAX area.

That work will continue through Saturday night. Any time saved on bridge demolition will be used to get a head start on tearing down the bridge approaches to the north and south of Century Boulevard. That will help reduce long-term impacts to traffic on Century and Aviation boulevards over the next 16 months.

Los Angeles World Airports reports that planes are mostly full this weekend and traffic is flowing well in the LAX area. The airport said more buses, taxis and shuttles are also being used this weekend.

Please see this earlier post for traffic, detour and transit information for those going to or coming from Los Angeles International Airport this weekend. Long story short: avoid driving in the area, use Sepulveda Boulevard if driving, take the LAX FlyAway bus or use transit. Again, a lot of helpful info in the earlier post, which will remain at the top of the blog roll.

If headed to LAX over the weekend, check for traffic updates on the airport’s main Twitter feed with the hashtag #centurycrunch. We’ll also be updating the Source over the weekend as well as Metro’s general Twitter feed.

 

Century Crunch, update #3; bridge has safely been knocked down

All is going well. As the tweet from LAX shows, the old railroad bridge over Century Boulevard has safely been collapsed as work continues this morning. The video shows the the demolition work that began early Saturday.

The photos below are from this morning. You can also watch a video live stream of the work here.

 

Please see this earlier post for traffic, detour and transit information for those going to or coming from Los Angeles International Airport this weekend. Long story short: avoid driving in the area, use Sepulveda Boulevard if driving, take the LAX FlyAway bus or use transit. Again, a lot of helpful info in the earlier post, which will remain at the top of the blog roll.

If headed to LAX over the weekend, check for traffic updates on the airport’s main Twitter feed with the hashtag #centurycrunch. We’ll also be updating the Source over the weekend as well as Metro’s general Twitter feed.

Century Crunch, Update #2

Looking east on Century Boulevard. Photo by Jose Ubaldo/Metro.

Looking east on Century Boulevard. Photo by Jose Ubaldo/Metro.

Road closures were staggered throughout the evening and the intersection of Aviation and Century is now closed. The video below shows equipment being moved into place that will be used to demolish the old railroad bridge in order to make way for the Aviation/Century Station for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

Please see this earlier post for traffic, detour and transit information for those going to or coming from Los Angeles International Airport this weekend. Long story short: avoid driving in the area, use Sepulveda Boulevard if driving, take the LAX FlyAway bus or use transit. Again, a lot of helpful info in the earlier post, which will remain at the top of the blog roll.

Video by Jose Ubaldo/Metro

It’s (Century) crunch time! Update #1

Looking south earlier Friday evening toward the bridge over Century Boulevard. Some demolition work has already been done. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Looking south earlier Friday evening toward the bridge over Century Boulevard. Some demolition work has already been done. Photos by Steve Hymon/Metro.

It was pretty quiet near the intersection of Century and Aviation boulevards earlier this evening as workers prepared to tear down the old railroad bridge to clear the way for the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s new station. The above photo provides a pretty good view of the scope of the work that needs to be done by Monday morning.

Lane closures in the area around Century and Aviation are now underway with the intersection to be closed soon. Prep work will then be done to protect the roadway with work on the bridge demolition slated to begin about 2 a.m., according to project officials.

Please see this earlier post (the one at the top of the blog!) for detour information and transit help for those trying to reach Los Angeles International Airport this weekend. The short version: avoid driving in the area unless absolutely necessary, give yourself extra time going to and from the airport, take the FlyAway bus as alternative to driving, use Sepulveda Boulevard if driving and consider taking transit to the airport.

Crenshaw/LAX Line Project Director Charles Beauvoir talks to the media late Friday afternoon; Metro Board Member Jackie DuPont-Walker is behind him.

Crenshaw/LAX Line Project Director Charles Beauvoir talks to the media late Friday afternoon; Metro Board Member Jackie DuPont-Walker is behind him.

The view of the bridge from the Aviation/Century intersection.

The view of the bridge from the Aviation/Century intersection.

Concrete railroad ties in the construction yard -- these will eventually be used on the project.

Concrete railroad ties in the construction yard — these will eventually be used on the project.

If headed to LAX over the weekend, check for traffic updates on the airport’s main Twitter feed with the hashtag #centurycrunch. We’ll also be updating the Source over the weekend as well as Metro’s general Twitter feed.

Officials discuss motion seeking to improve Orange Line at media event in NoHo

Three Metro Board Members and other elected officials, activists and business leaders held a media event on Friday morning at the NoHo Orange Line station to discuss the Board’s passage Thursday of a motion calling for feasibility studies of improving the Orange Line and potentially connecting it to Burbank, Glendale and the Gold Line in Pasadena.

A video with some nuggets from the media event is above. Sorry about the shaky camera — I left a key piece of my tripod at home :(

I’ve had several people ask why is this an issue now and the answer is twofold:

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, who represents Van Nuys and the surrounding area, wrote a bill reversing a 1991 bill that banned any kind of rail project on the old Southern Pacific rail corridor that became the Orange Line. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month.

•With a potential Metro ballot measure on the horizon in 2016, officials and activists realized that could be an opportunity to fund such a project but that having some studies done would help this effort.

I can’t emphasize enough that the motion only asks Metro to study possible upgrades for the Orange Line. Despite what may be said, at this time no decisions have been made about any possible improvements, nor is such a project funded or in Metro’s long-range plan.

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Other actions taken by the Board of Directors today, including motion on Orange Line upgrades

Other actions taken by the Metro Board at their meeting today:

•The Board approved a motion by Board Members Paul Krekorian, Eric Garcetti, Michael Antonovich, Zev Yaroslavsky, John Fasana and Ara Najarian directing Metro staff to study potential upgrades to the Orange Line, including adding more articulated buses, grade-separated crossings, improved traffic signal priority and rail conversion. The motion also calls for the study of extending the Orange Line to Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena, where it would connect or offer a transfer to the Gold Line.

As I’ve noted before, this is an unfunded project and that converting the Orange Line to rail is not in Metro’s short- or long-range plans at this time.Metro Board Member Paul Krekorian noted that only two of Metro’s 80 rail stations are in the San Fernando Valley, where nearly 20 percent of county residents live. He said that the Orange Line’s ridership demonstrates that Valley residents are willing to take transit. Metro staff said they will return to the Board this fall with more details on how they plan to proceed with the Orange Line study. Motion

An amendment to the motion by Board Members Pam O’Connor and Don Knabe directs Metro staff to develop protocols for adding unfunded projects to the long-range plan — a need brought in part by Metro studying future ballot measure that could potentially fund new projects. As the amendment notes, some Measure R road and transit projects remain underfunded or are facing higher expenses to build, adding to the difficulty of building projects that are not set to receive Measure R funds. Amendment

•A separate motion by Board Members Michael Antonovich, Ara Najarian, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Ara Najarian directs Metro to continue the planning process for expanding bus rapid transit to eligible corridors, including Vermont Avenue and a line connecting the Orange Line to the Gold Line. The motion asks for a report from Metro staff this fall with a staffing, funding and implementation plan on expanding BRT. Motion

In an amendment to that motion by Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti, Metro was directed to make such BRT projects the first priority when Metro pursues federal Small Starts or Very Small Starts funding. The amendment also asked for a center-running alternative where feasible in the study of the Vermont and Burbank-Pasadena BRT.

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Cafe Crepe coming to Union Station

The Metro Board earlier today approved a lease agreement with Cafe Crepe to take over the former Union Bagel space in Union Station (the Metro staff report is above). This is the space directly across from Traxx that has been vacant for quite some time.

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This is not a small space. There will be interior seating and this should be a very nice spot for bus and train travelers to stop and grab a meal at pretty agreeable prices.

Check out Cafe Crepe’s menu here — they already have locations in Santa Monica, Vancouver (B.C.) and Toronto and the plan is to be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Union Station location. The word ‘crepe’ may be in the name, but there’s a variety of things on the menu including burgers, salads, other sandwiches and desserts.

When will it open? The short answer: it’s going to be a while. The space has to be completely renovated and equipped — and all the necessary permits must be obtained from the city of Los Angeles. We’ll provide updates as the work proceeds!