Metro staff recommends list of SR 710 environmental study alternatives be narrowed as process goes forward

Here is the news release from Metro:

Metro staff, working in conjunction with Caltrans, is recommending that the list of alternatives being studied for the SR 710 north-south connection from Alhambra to Pasadena be pared from 12 to five for further environmental study based on operational, engineering, financial and environmental considerations as well as public input. Among alternatives that would not continue are surface route options for Avenue 64 and San Rafael, or underground in the Mount Washington area or any surface highway options in those corridors.

The multi-modal options Metro is recommending go forward for further review include expanded bus rapid transit, light rail, a freeway tunnel, an alternative focused on expanded bus service, intersection and hot spot improvements, ridesharing and telecommuting and intelligent technology system improvements, and a no build option.

These recommendations will be presented Aug. 29 to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) comprised of more than 30 engineering and other technical experts representing jurisdictions throughout the region who are working with Metro and its consultants on the SR 710 environmental study.

At the meeting the performance criteria for culling the list of alternatives for further environmental study will be reviewed. The four alternatives plus the no build option will be further refined through the environmental phase, which should be completed by winter 2014. The public will be actively involved in the process as it has been since the SR 710 environmental study began earlier this year.

Regional Connector community updates continue today; new drawings of stations

The latest round of community updates for the Regional Connector project are underway, with one today at 1 p.m. at the Central Library; here’s the full list.

The project team has also produced a new batch of power point presentations showing designs for the three stations along the Connector’s 1.9-mile route between the 7th/Metro Center station and Little Tokyo. The Connector will tie together the Blue and Expo lines with the Gold Line, meaning fewer transfers and more direct trips through downtown Los Angeles for most Metro Rail riders.

Please follow the links in blue below to the document on Scribd if you’re interested in downloading the pdf files.

1st & Central station

2nd & Broadway station

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Assembly approves bill that would allow Measure J to go to voters of AB 1446

Measure J is the proposal to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax for 30 years beyond its mid-2039 expiration date to try to accelerate transit and road projects.

The state bill that would allow the issue to go to Los Angeles County voters on November 6 had been approved by the Assembly earlier this summer but another vote needed to be taken on the amended version of the bill recently okayed by the state Senate.

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

Today, the California State Assembly granted final passage of AB 1446 (Feuer) by voting to concur in the bill as amended in the State Senate. As of the writing of this alert, the total votes are 52-20. The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.

 

Expo Line phase 2 construction notice for work on Olympic/Cloverfield bridge

Work on the second phase of the Expo Line between Culver City and Santa Monica continues to ramp up. Here’s the latest construction notice for work on the bridge that will carry tracks across the busy intersection of Olympic and Cloverfield in Santa Monica:

Click above to see larger image.

Draft environmental study released for Gold Line Foothill Extension between Azusa and Montclair

It’s important to note that while this project is in Metro’s long-range plan, it is not a fully funded project at this time and does not have a planned opening date. The draft study can be viewed or downloaded on the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority’s website.

Public comments are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 and can be emailed to llevybuch@foothillextension.org.

Click above to see a larger image.

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Unlike New York, there will be no blasting to build subway in Los Angeles

Earlier today, something went wrong with construction of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway when a planned underground blast broke through the surface sending dirt and debris into the air and causing other property damage. Here’s coverage by the New York Times and the New York Daily News — the Daily News actually has photos of the blast.

This is certainly unfortunate and we will be watching as our colleagues in New York work to figure out what caused this accident. It’s worth noting that no blasting at all is planned here in Los Angeles as part of the construction of either the Regional Connector or the Westside Subway Extension, both of which require tunnels to be built.

In its cover story on this project earlier this month, the New York Times Magazine noted that geology is a critical factor in determining how tunnels and stations get built. The geology is quite different in Los Angeles than it is in New York.

We understand that there have been hundreds and hundreds of planned blasts for the Second Avenue Subway over the last year that have gone off without a hitch. This is the first time anything like this has happened. On the positive side, it appears that there weren’t any injuries from this accident and that the scene was cleaned up with streets reopened within an hour. We’ll keep monitoring this and pass along any relevant information.