4-day closure of Huntington/2nd in Arcadia for Gold Line work begins Friday

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Here is the news release from the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the 11.5-mile addition to the Gold Line between eastern Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border. Yep, it’s another project funded by Measure R:

Four-Day Full Closure of Huntington Dr & Second Ave Intersection Begins Friday Morning, August 8; Followed by Six Weeks of Nighttime Directional Closures

WHO:  Residents / Commuters / Businesses in the Cities of Arcadia.

WHAT: Crews will be performing two phases of work on the light rail bridge structure over the intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave in the City of Arcadia. This work is part of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project. The first phase of work will require a full closure of the intersection to thru-traffic for four days, beginning Friday morning, August 8, to allow crews to install the bridge girders.

Following the four-day full intersection closure, six weeks of nighttime directional closures will begin on Tuesday night, August 12, Sundays thru Thursdays ONLY, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Huntington Dr will be closed to thru-traffic in one direction at Second Ave (either eastbound or westbound; never concurrently), while no thru-traffic will be allowed on Second Ave at Huntington Dr. The directional closures are needed to install the cross beams and deck steel onto the light rail bridge structure.

During these closures, detours and signage will be posted to guide motorists and pedestrians around the work area. Access to all local businesses, including those on Huntington Dr and Second Ave, will remain available.

WHEN:

-        Full Closure:
Friday morning, August 8, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. thru Tuesday, August 12, 2014 at 6:00 a.m.: The intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave will be fully closed to thru-traffic to install the bridge girders. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians (see detour map above).

-        Directional (One-Way) Nighttime Closures:
Beginning Tuesday night, August 12, 2014 for approximately six weeks, Sundays thru Thursdays ONLY, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.: Huntington Dr will be closed to thru-traffic at Second Ave in one direction (either eastbound or westbound; never concurrently), while no thru-traffic will be allowed on Second Ave at Huntington Dr. These closures are to install the cross beams and deck steel. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians during these hours. No work will be performed on Fridays or Saturdays.

WHERE: Intersection of Huntington Dr and Second Ave in the City of Arcadia.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

•Detour routes will be in place during the closures and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians.

•Access to all local businesses, including those on Huntington Dr and Second Ave, will remain available at all times during the construction.

•Bus stops in this vicinity may be temporarily relocated. For information about:

Foothill Transit bus services call (800) RIDE-INFO (800-743-3463) or go to www.foothilltransit.org

FOR MORE INFORMATION

-        Visit www.foothillgoldline.org

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About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority: The Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from Union Station to Montclair, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority built the initial segment between Union Station and Pasadena and is underway on the Foothill Extension. The Foothill Extension (now known as the Foothill Gold Line) is a nearly $2 billion extension that will connect Pasadena to Montclair in two construction segments – Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair. The 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa segment is on time and on budget, and will be completed in late-September 2015 when it will be turned over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. It is fully funded by LA County’s Measure R. Metro will determine when the line will open for passenger service. Three design-build contracts, totaling more than $550 million, are being overseen by the Construction Authority to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The Azusa to Montclair segment is environmentally cleared and is undergoing advanced engineering and design. It will be shovel-ready for a design-build contract in 2017. The $1 billion segment is currently unfunded for construction.

Preview of August Metro Service Council meetings and public hearings

As the title of this story indicates, public hearings will be conducted this month in addition to the regular monthly Service Council meetings.

The San Fernando Valley and Westside/Central Service Councils will hold public hearings for proposed December service changes in their regions immediately following their regularly scheduled monthly meetings (days, times and locations are listed below). Since no major December service changes were proposed for the other regions, those Service Councils will not hold hearings. There will be one additional public hearing on the proposed service changes held in Metro’s Board room, at One Gateway Plaza in downtown LA, on Saturday, August 9 at 9 am. You can view information on the proposed changes, public hearings, and how to provide input on the proposals by visiting Metro’s webpage at http://www.metro.net/about/metro-service-changes/proposed-changes-metro-bus-service/

If you or someone you know is interested in serving on one of Metro’s Service Councils, Metro’s Service Council webpage has been updated to include a link showing current vacancies and explaining the process of applying for an open seat on the Councils. The information can be accessed on the main Service Council page, or on any of the individual Council pages, by clicking the link ton the right of the map titled ”Current Service Council Vacancies.”

All Service Councils are scheduled to receive a report on Metro’s Fare Restructuring Implementation, scheduled to go into effect September 15, and the monthly Director’s report, which provides statistics on ridership, performance and other measures of Metro service. For more information about each Service Council, click on the name of the Council to view their web page. Meeting topics for Service Council meetings this month, in addition to the Fare Restructuring Implementation presentation, include:

San Fernando Valley (6:30 pm, Wednesday, 8/6) – Report on Orange Line Pedestrian Tunnel; Report on Line 155 – Universal City/Studio City Station Construction Detour. Immediately following the conclusion of the meeting, the Council will adjourn to the public hearing on proposed December 2014 service changes.

South Bay (9:30 am, Friday, 8/8) – Presentation on Metro’s Annual On-Board Survey; Update on Metro Green Line Latching and Impacts on Ridership.

San Gabriel Valley (5 pm, Monday, 8/11) – Presentation on Metro’s Annual On-Board Survey; Update on Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 Draft EIR/EIS Public Outreach Plan.

Westside/Central (5 pm, Wednesday, 8/13) – Update Purple Line Extension Utility Relocation Process. Immediately following the conclusion of the meeting, the Council will adjourn to the public hearing on proposed December 2014 service changes.

Gateway Cities (2 pm, Thursday, 8/14) – Update on Metro Blue Line Refurbishment Work Schedule in Long Beach; Update on Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension Phase 2 Draft EIR/EIS Public Outreach Plan.

For a detailed listing of all Council meeting dates, times and locations, click here. As always, the public is encouraged to attend and share their comments with the Service Councils on improving bus service throughout LA County. If you would like to provide input to a Council but cannot attend a meeting, you can submit your comments in writing through the Service Council web page or send them to servicecouncils@metro.net. If your comments are for a specific Council, please make sure to indicate which one you are addressing in your e-mail.

Congress relents and funds Highway Trust Fund through next May

Here’s the update from Metro’s government relations staff:

Highway Trust Fund and Transportation Program Extension Bill is Sent to the President’s Desk

Last night, before the U.S. Senate departed Washington for a five week recess, Senators voted (81-13) to send the House’s bill to fund the Highway Trust Fund and extend authorization and appropriations for highway and transit programs to the President Obama’s desk for his signature. H.R. 5021 extends funding and programs until May 31, 2015. The Senate’s action comes after an attempt earlier this week to amend the House bill. Changes made by the Senate were rejected by the House yesterday and the bill was sent back to the Senate for reconsideration. As a previous White House Statement of Administration Policy expresses, the President supports H.R. 5021 and is expected to sign the legislation later this afternoon.

 

Transit agencies such as Metro rely on the Highway Trust Fund to provide money for maintenance and capital projects, among other important items. The House and the Senate have been bickering in recent days over how best to continue funding for the Highway Trust Fund without raising the federal gas tax, which was last increased in 1993.

In other words, this is a short-term fix. Here’s a Washington Post editorial published yesterday about the issue of the gas tax.

And how is Congress paying to keep the Trust Fund going? As CBS explains, through pension smoothing, a variety of U.S. Customs user fees and transferring money from a fund devoted to fixing leaking underground storage tanks.

 

Wires up on the Expo Line Phase 2!

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Photo courtesy Ron Miller

Nice view of the new overhead wires that will deliver power to trains along Expo Line Phase 2. The photo was taken on the stretch of track between the 10 freeway and Overland Avenue.

The six-mile rail project will extend the Expo Line from Culver City to downtown Santa Monica with seven new stations. The project is forecast to open in early 2016 and is funded primarily by the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Transit agency funding threatened as Congress continues to bicker over Highway Trust Fund

Below is the latest from Metro’s government relations staff on the ongoing tussle between the House of Representatives and the Senate on keeping the federal Highway Trust Fund funded for the new few months. The news is not good:

U.S. House of Representatives Sends Highway Trust Fund Extension Bill Back to the U.S. Senate

Moments ago, the United States House of Representatives voted (272-150) to reject the U.S. Senate amended bill to fund the Highway Trust Fund and extend authorization and appropriations for highway and transit programs. On July 15, 2014, the House passed H.R. 5021 that extended funding and programs until May 31, 2015. This past Tuesday, the Senate amended the House bill by shortening the extension until December 19, 2014 forcing Congress to deal with a long term surface transportation reauthorization bill and funding this year. With the House rejecting the Senate amended bill and members leaving Washington tonight for a five week recess, the Senate must now decide to pass the House version of H.R. 5021 by tomorrow. If the Senate does not act, the Department of Transportation will implement cash management procedures to distribute less than full transportation funding payments to states. Metro’s Government Relations staff will continue to provide updates on the status of Congress’ actions regarding transportation programs and funding.

Why does this matter? Here’s a staff reporting explaining how Metro could suffer if funds from the Highway Trust Fund to Metro would eventually slow down or be halted. It’s not good: potential long-range impacts — emphasis on ‘long-range’ — could result in service cuts, delays to maintenance projects and delaying capital projects.

The Highway Trust Fund gets its money from the federal gas tax, which is currently 18.3 cents and hasn’t been raised since 1993. Congress has been reluctant over the years to raise the tax or index it to inflation and there’s no majority view of other alternatives to keep the Highway Trust Fund in the black now that vehicles are more fuel efficient and tax revenues are down.


Century Crunch final update: Aviation/Century intersection on track to open 2 a.m. Monday

The intersection reopened at 1:30 a.m., four-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.

The intersection reopened at 1:30 a.m., four-and-a-half hours ahead of schedule.

Work on the demolition of the old railroad bridge and the bridge abutments remains ahead of schedule. The intersection of Aviation and Century boulevards is on track to reopen at 2 a.m. Monday, four hours ahead of the original schedule. 

Traffic congestion on the roads around Los Angeles International Airport was either light or manageable for most of the weekend thanks to the public taking heed of warnings to avoid the area, use the appropriate detours and/or take FlyAway bus or transit.

“The successful completion of ‘Century Crunch’ shows that when we all plan and work together, we can avoid undue burdens as we build the transit and airport infrastructure necessary to reduce congestion in the long-term,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti.

Over the weekend, the old railroad bridge and its abutments on the north and south side of Century Boulevard were removed. Traffic lanes on Century Boulevard were also reconfigured on Sunday to allow for construction of the new aerial Aviation/Century Station that will be part of the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

The light rail line will run for 8.5 miles between the Green Line and Expo Line and include two rail stations near the airport — one serving Century Boulevard and the other, at 96th Street, that will allow passengers to connect to a people mover that will carry them to LAX terminals. The project is funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

The demolition work on the bridge began early Saturday morning add was completed by early Sunday afternoon. Crews commenced to clean the streets and install new street signal posts at the Century/Aviation intersection — the old traffic signals were mounted on the bridge.

Below are a pair of time-lapse videos taken of the demolition work. The first one covers Friday night through Saturday morning and the second shows the work done Saturday to topple the bridge.

Century Crunch, update #6: new photos of bridge demolition work

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Photos by Jose Ubaldo/Metro.

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With many travelers returning to Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday afternoon — as is typical — there has been some traffic congestion on roads around LAX.

The intersection of Aviation and Century boulevards will remain closed the rest of Sunday with a reopening by 6 a.m. Monday. If headed to or from LAX Sunday evening, please avoid the area, take the FlyAway bus, use Sepulveda Boulevard if driving or take transit.

The above photos were taken Sunday afternoon and show the work thus far in demolishing the old railroad bridge over Century Boulevard to clear way for the Crenshaw/LAX Line’s new Aviation/Century Station. Again, a lot of helpful info in this earlier post about getting to and from LAX this weekend.

If headed to LAX, check for traffic updates on the airport’s main Twitter feed with the hashtag #centurycrunch. We’ll also continue updating the Source as necessary and update Metro’s general Twitter feed with the hashtag #centurycrunch.

For those who enjoy demolition videos, here are a pair of short timelapses from the weekend:

Friday night to Saturday morning — closing the intersection and demolition beginning

Saturday morning to Saturday afternoon — knocking the bridge span down