Another set of photos from Union Station this morning and afternoon; here is another set of photos from earlier. Click to see a larger version of a photo. All photos by Juan Ocampo for Metro.
A little warm weather on Saturday didn’t keep crowds at bay as thousands of people descended on Union Station for the building’s 75th anniversary celebration that featured live music, train exhibitions, speeches from dignitaries and a lot of folks who apparently wished it was 1939 all over again.
The above photos are just a small slice of today’s activities. Here are even more photos! Click on any of the above photos to see a larger version.
Here is the news release from Metro and Caltrans:
The draft environmental impact report/environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) for the State Route 710 North Study will be released for public comment in February 2015, Metro and Caltrans announced today.
In response to community stakeholders who asked for additional time to consider the draft documents, the public review period also will be doubled from 45 to 90 days. Metro and Caltrans want to give the public ample opportunity to study and comment on the series of complex documents for addressing traffic and environmental impacts within east/northeast Los Angeles, the western San Gabriel Valley and the region generated by a 4 ½ mile gap in the original 710 Freeway design that exists between Alhambra and Pasadena.
The draft EIR/EIS will thoroughly analyze five alternatives – Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail Transit, Transportation System Management/Transportation Demand Management, a freeway tunnel, and a No Build option. Altogether, approximately 50 technical documents will thoroughly analyze traffic, noise, air quality, a health risk assessment, energy effects and other variables.
The data is being processed through a regional travel demand model that predicts future (2035) traffic through analysis of projected travel patterns considering such factors as population and employment growth, goods movement, land use changes and other variables.
Metro and Caltrans are fully committed to ensure that the public has a voice in the process. Detailed analysis for each alternative will be incorporated in the SR 710 North Study draft EIR/EIS. For updates on the revised schedule and project background, go to metro.net/sr710study or facebook.com/sr710study or follow on Twitter @sr710study.
If you’re visiting Union Station on Saturday for the 75th anniversary festivities, please check out the new Metro Information Tower that looks a little like the monolith in “2001: A Space Odyssey” but doesn’t leave you guessing about its purpose in life.
The 17-foot tall interactive kiosk in the Union Station East Portal – there’s only one up and running so far but other, smaller demo kiosks will be around Union Station tomorrow — just might turn out to be your go-to travel tool. Please see the video posted below.
Touchscreen displays include a station guide, a timeline of Union Station history, nearby Metro Destination Discounts that are available to TAP card holders, Nextrip real-time arrivals, the Metro Trip Planner, Metro transit schedules and maps and variable options this weekend including Instagram uploads of Union Station photos hash-tagged with #LAUS75.
On May 3, the demo kiosk near the Information Booth in Union Station will run the only known footage of the 1939 Union Station opening. It was shot by famed Jiminy Cricket animator Ward Kimball.
Metro is also planning to install more touchscreen displays in the future at other Metro Rail stations as part of the Interactive Kiosk Pilot Program.
This it, folks: Major construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line begins tonight. That means there will be street closures along Crenshaw Boulevard, as shown in the above map, in order to accommodate the work.
Please see this earlier Source post for more information about upcoming construction activities and bus stop relocations along Crenshaw Boulevard.
Below is a nice piece on construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line done by the Los Angeles County Channel. There are some nice visuals for those who aren’t familiar with the Crenshaw Corridor.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line is one of three Metro Rail projects currently under construction, joining the second phase of the Expo Line and the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Regional Connector is ramping up toward major construction and the Metro Board is expected to select a contractor to build the Purple Line Extension project this summer. All five projects are funded in part by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by 68 percent of Los Angeles County voters in 2008. In addition, Metro has begun receiving the first of 550 new state-of-the-art buses and is spending $1.2 billion to overhaul the Metro Blue Line, including the purchase of new light rail vehicles.
Here’s something different: Zocalo Public Square is holding a forum next Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at MOCA on the 710 freeway gap and regional mobility issues.
Of course, the ongoing SR-710 project is looking at the same issue with five alternatives under consideration: a freeway tunnel, light rail, bus rapid transit, traffic signal and intersection improvements and the legally-required no-build option. The project is funded with $780 million from the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008 — a lot of money but not enough for some of the more expensive options.
Here is a description on the forum from the Zocalo website:
The 710 is one of the most important freeways in Southern California. It’s also shorter than originally planned: For nearly 50 years, legal and environmental challenges have stalled the freeway in Alhambra, 4.5 miles short of its intended destination, Pasadena. Over the decades, discussions about extending the freeway have cast its future as a local issue. But the 710 causes traffic, produces pollution, and affects commerce across Los Angeles and even beyond. How broad are these impacts, and what role might the stalled extension play in them? What would the five options now being debated for dealing with the Alhambra-to-Pasadena gap–implementing new surface traffic technology and strategies, new rapid bus transit, light rail transit, a freeway tunnel, or building nothing at all–mean for our region? UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies directorBrian Taylor, Clean Tech Advocates senior advisor and former California Environment Secretary Linda S. Adams, L.A. Chamber of Commerce president Gary Toebben, and Southern California Association of Governments executive director Hasan Ikhrata visit Zócalo to discuss what these proposals mean for all of us.
The forum is hosted by NBC-4 reporter Conan Nolan.
The forum is free. Click here to make a reservation. MOCA is located at 250 S. Grand Street and is a short walk (although uphill) from the Metro Red/Purple Line’s Civic Center station or via numerous Metro bus lines, including the Silver Line and Lines 70, 71, 76, 78, 79, 96 and 378. For those driving, there are numerous lots in the area and parking is $9 at Disney Hall.
Metro is expected to soon announce the release date of the draft environment study for the project. Click here to visit the project’s home page on the Metro website.
Here is the news release from Metro and the proposed budget is above:
A public hearing is set for 1 p.m. on May 14, 2014 to hear comment on Metro’s proposed balanced $5.508 billion Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) budget, set to begin July 1, 2014. The proposed budget includes continued commitment to the largest highway and rail building program in America, bus headway improvements and $283.4 million in maintenance expenditures to keep the system in top form.
The public hearing will take place during the regularly scheduled meeting of the Metro Board Finance Committee at the Metro Board Room, 1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles. The public can view copies of the balanced budget proposal at www.metro.net/fy15proposed or request a copy from the Metro Records Management Center at RMC@metro.net.
The draft FY15 budget enhances many services while keeping fares at low levels, however, a decision on a proposed fare increase to eliminate a projected $36.8 million operating budget deficit by Fiscal Year 2017 is pending the May 22 Metro Board meeting.
As part of the $283.4 million targeted at maintenance, Metro will spend $192.7 million on bus service including the purchase of 550 new clean-burning CNG buses and about $50 million for rail improvements on the Blue Line and the Red Line subway in the next fiscal year.
Safety is critical to Metro passengers and the FY15 budget contains $48.7 million to keep the system as safe as possible. Enhancements include improvements to cameras and video monitoring, security kiosks are various rail stations, signal system rehabilitation on the Metro Blue and Green lines and pedestrian safety improvements on the Metro Red Line with an underpass and overpass bridge planned for Universal City and North Hollywood stations.
Metro continues construction on the most comprehensive public works program in America with Measure R and other funding sources. In FY15, Metro will have five major rail projects either under construction or prepared to begin including the Metro Gold Line extension to Azusa, the Metro Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, the Crenshaw/LAX Line and the Regional Connector. The Metro Purple Line extension to Westwood has cleared major legal hurdles and is expected to receive a federal full funding grant agreement by mid-May.
In terms of highway projects, the mammoth undertaking of modernizing and expanding capacity of the I-405 will be completed in FY15 and other projects are moving forward including I-5 widening from Orange County to the I-605, the I-710 South Corridor, the North SR-710 study and a variety of other improvements including continuation of countywide sound wall construction and the Freeway Beautification Pilot Project designed maintain landscape and remove graffiti and debris.
The Metro ExpressLanes Project continues to provide travel options on the I-10 and I-110 freeways with future expansion of ExpressLanes to be studied. The Kenneth Hahn Countywide Callbox System continues operation along with development of the Motorist Aid and Travel Information System (MATIS).
Metro will continue to contribute both operations and capital funding to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority with FY15 capital projects including the Bob Hope Airport/Hollywood Way station, Van Nuys Second Platform, Vincent Grade/Acton and Lancaster Stations, Doran Street Crossing design, Raymer to Bernson Double Track and Southern California Regional Interconnectivity Program (SCRIP), which will increase Union Station Capacity.
Curious about what the first six stations of the Gold Line Foothill Extension will look like?
The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (the agency building the 11.5-mile line between eastern Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border) has produced a series of videos introducing the art and artists of the Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte/City of Hope, Irwindale, Azusa Downtown, and APU/Citrus College stations.
Check out the videos and official press release bellow:
Duarte/City of Hope
“MONROVIA, CA – Today, the Foothill Gold Line released a video series showcasing the six station artists or artist teams developing artwork for the future Gold Line light rail stations from Pasadena to Azusa. The future stations – Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte/City of Hope, Irwindale, Azusa Downtown, and APU/Citrus College – are under construction and are nearing installation of certain elements of the artwork.
Artist for each of the stations were selected by their respective communities in 2007 and are now part of the design-build team constructing the project. The artist or artist team is working closely with the builder to make sure their approved materials, color palate and art elements are integrated into the stations as they continue to take shape.
‘With construction of all six stations now underway, we wanted to provide an update from each of the artists about their ongoing work,” stated Foothill Gold Line Director of Public Affairs Lisa Levy Buch. “We feel that the cities along the project did an excellent job selecting artists who would successfully capture and incorporate the character and history of each of their respective communities into their art. These videos provide a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look into how those concepts are now being realized.’
Construction of the Foothill Gold Line is on time and on budget to be completed in September 2015, when it will be turned over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. Metro will determine when the line opens for passenger service. The artwork is part of the effort now underway.”
The Gold Line Foothill Extension is one of three Metro Rail projects under construction along with the second phase of the Expo Line and the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Construction of the Regional Connector will begin soon and the Metro Board is expected to approve a contract for construction of the Purple Line Extension later this year. It will be the fifth rail line under construction because of Measure R. In addition, Metro has begun receiving the first of 550 new state-of-the-art buses and is spending $1.2 billion to overhaul the Metro Blue Line, including the purchase of new light rail vehicles.
Here is the news release from Metro:
Major construction will begin Friday, May 2 on Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project starting with work on the underground stations on Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards with a full street closure to implement a new traffic configuration.
Walsh/Shea Corridor Contractors (WSCC) will implement the new traffic configuration between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stocker Street beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, May 2, through 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3.
WSCC will place Crenshaw Boulevard k-rail (concrete barriers) on the eastside to separate the work area from the street traffic and re-stripe traffic lanes. Work is anticipated to last for 15 hours and will be done in two phases.
Phase one will be from 10 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday, diverting traffic between Jefferson Boulevard to Vernon Avenue. Motorists traveling southbound on Crenshaw Boulevard will be detoured left on Jefferson, right at Arlington, right at Vernon and left and back on to Crenshaw.
Phase two will begin at 2 a.m. Saturday until 1 p.m. diverting traffic between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stocker Street. Motorists traveling northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard will be detoured left on Stocker Street, right on Santa Rosalia Drive, right on Marlton Avenue, left on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and left on to Crenshaw Boulevard.
After the full street closure on Saturday, traffic will resume with two lanes in each direction. The bus stop located on the eastside of Crenshaw Boulevard will be temporarily relocated to the southeast corner of the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Stocker Street.
There will be limited access to businesses during the night time activity, however, pedestrian access will be maintained as well as access to emergency vehicles.
The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project is a light-rail line that will connect the Expo and Green Lines. The $2.058 billion Measure R transit project will serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester and the LAX area with eight new stations, a maintenance facility, park-ride lots, traction power substations and the acquisition of rail vehicles and maintenance equipment.
Following the closure WSCC will begin these construction activities: utility relocation, pile installation, street decking and excavation.
Construction of the underground stations is anticipated to last four years. However, the construction work will be done underground. Traffic lanes will be reconfigured but traffic will be maintained during the four years of construction.
And here is the project fact sheet:
Here is information about changes to bus stops that begin to go into effect this month:
And here is information about the live online chat about the project that is tonight at 6 p.m. on reddit:
Metro Sponsors Live Chat at reddit.com to Discuss Crenshaw/LAX Line Project Construction, Upcoming Traffic Impacts
Metro is inviting the community, residents, business owners and motorists to learn about upcoming construction activities such as implementing a new traffic configuration around the future Crenshaw/Expo and Crenshaw/MLK stations starting in May during an internet chat scheduled on Tuesday, April 29, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at http://www.reddit.com/r/MetroLosAngeles/
Hosting the live chat will be project director Charles Beauvoir, who will provide detailed information on the first full street closures and options for pedestrians, motorists, business owners and general public.
The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is a $2.058 billion light rail that will connect Metro’s Expo and Green Lines with eight new stations.
The full street closure is needed to implement traffic rerouting for the upcoming construction activities such as utility relocation, pile installation, decking and excavation.
Crenshaw Boulevard will be closed between Martin Luther King Jr. and Stocker Street from 10 p.m. on Friday, May 2, through 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, as work begins on the Crenshaw/MLK underground station.
On Friday, May 16, the second full street closure has been scheduled on Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition Boulevard and Rodeo Place.
When the Crenshaw/LAX line opens to the public in 2019 passengers and customers will be able to travel to work, medical care, entertainment, shopping, school and other activities all over the entire Los Angeles region. It also will help revitalize the local and regional economy.
For more information on this project visit metro.net/crenshaw. To post live questions during the chat or e-mail advance questions, go to CrenshawCorridor@metro.net.
Those who don’t have computer access but wish to send their questions in advance should contact the project hot line at (213) 922-2736 and leave a message or if they want to participate during the live chat from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., call (213) 922-4601.
And, finally, here is information about an upcoming open house on May 14 about business opportunities on the Crenshaw/LAX Line project.
This morning at Track 15 Metro hosted a Union Station 75th Anniversary preview of events scheduled for this Saturday, May 3.
Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois and Metro CEO Art Leahy spoke from the back of a vintage rail car, as did Metro Board members Jacqueline Dupont-Walker and Ara Najarian, Michael Dwyer from Amtrak, Metrolink Board Chair Larry McCallon, Metrolink Board Member Richard Katz, Camille Lowry from the Annenberg Foundation and two men who attended the 1939 opening: Seymour Rosen and Jim Kaspar.
There were swing dancers and singers and a few fourth graders from Utah Street Elementary School, who showed up to share their dreams of what the Union Station of the future should look like.
It was a grand event in preparation for an even grander one this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as Metro and Metrolink joined Amtrak for a preview of Union Station’s 75th Anniversary celebration and Amtrak’s National Train day. Please click here for more details and the day’s schedule of events.