Service Advisory: Blue Line to run every 40 min between DTLA-Willowbrook tonight

We wish we could say you read that wrong, Blue Line customers…

Unfortunately, due to essential track maintenance, Blue Line will run every 40 minutes between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station tonight after 8 p.m. Trains will serve the remainder of the Blue Line, between Willowbrook and Long Beach, every 20 minutes after 8 p.m. This means every other northbound train will turn around at Willowbrook Station, and its destination sign will either display “Willowbrook” or “Imperial.” Customers should expect all trains continuing to 7th Street/Metro Center to arrive on the Downtown L.A.-bound track between Vernon and Willowbrook stations. Expo Line will be unaffected by the track work, and will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, departing every 10 minutes.

Why the exceptionally long wait for Blue Line trains between DTLA and Willowbrook? It has to do with the location of the required maintenance. Typically, when work is being done on one track, trains will use switch points–or crossovers–to access the opposite track and navigate around work crews. Friday night’s maintenance is unique because it is actually being performed on one of these switch points, meaning trains traveling in both directions must take turns sharing a significantly larger segment of track than they would during routine maintenance.

For Blue Line departure times from 7th Street/Metro Center and Downtown Long Beach Station, please refer to Metro’s Service Advisories page. Please note these times may be subject to slight work-related delays.

If you arrive at 7th Street/Metro Center or Willowbrook with 40 minutes until the next train, consider using the Metro Silver and Green Lines as a travel alternative. Additional buses will run on the Silver Line after 9 p.m., Friday night, increasing the level of service to every 20 minutes (as opposed to the usual 40). Green Line will follow a regular Friday evening schedule, with trains departing every 20 minutes.

Metro customer service agents at 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station will be providing single-use TAP cards that customers can use to take both the Silver and the Green Line for the price of a one-way Blue Line fare ($1.50). Customers using these temporary cards should TAP when entering the Green Line, and show them to their bus operator when boarding the Silver Line. Metro customer service agents will be on hand at 7th/Metro, Harbor Freeway (Green/Silver Line), and Willowbrook (Blue/Green Line) to assist riders from 8 p.m. to close of service. Please note, these temporary TAP cards will only function this Friday evening, and are only for travel between 7th Street/Metro Center and Willowbrook Station.

Full southbound 405 closure between Santa Monica Boulevard and National Boulevard in West L.A. planned nights of March 17 – 22

Here is the press release from Metro:

The I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project contractor plans to fully close the southbound I-405 between Santa Monica Boulevard and National Boulevard in West Los Angeles on the following dates and times to facilitate the installation of a full-span freeway overhead sign and to conduct other roadway construction activities at the freeway median:

  • From midnight to 5 a.m. on the nights of:
    • Monday, March 17, to Thursday, March 20
    • Sunday, March 23
    • From midnight to 6 a.m. on the nights of:
      • Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22

Other Closures:

  • Lanes will begin to close at 10 p.m.
  • Ramps will begin to close at 7 p.m.
  • Southbound Santa Monica on-ramp
  • Southbound Sunset on-ramps
  • Southbound Wilshire on-ramps
  • Southbound I-405 to eastbound I-10 connector
  • Southbound I-405 to westbound I-10 connector

Detour: From the southbound I-405, exit at Santa Monica Boulevard, turn left to eastbound Santa Monica Boulevard, turn right to southbound Sepulveda Boulevard, turn right to westbound National Boulevard, and turn left on to the southbound I-405 on-ramp on National Boulevard.

What to expect:

No damage to Metro in this morning’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake; all Metro Rail lines running

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The 4.4-magnitude earthquake’s struck at 6:25 a.m. and had an epicenter near Westwood, according to the above preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Metro officials say that no damage has been reported to the system. All Metro Rail lines are resuming normal rush hour operations with some slight residual delays.

The agency’s tweets from this morning:

There are no reports of injuries or damage from law enforcement. The CHP says that area roads are clear.

Here is an earlier Source post that explains how Metro deals with earthquakes and goes about inspecting tracks for Metro Rail. Excerpt:

When a quake is thought to be strong enough to cause damage, rail control center staff will radio the train operators and tell them what to do. Orders can vary from line to line, depending upon where the quake is strongest. If a weak quake is centered in the San Fernando Valley, for example, trains in Long Beach may not be affected.

If the quake is deemed potentially damaging, operators may be told to stop where they are and begin sweeping the track, which means that they proceed at about 15 mph to the next station or to the point where the train ahead of them stopped and began its sweep. (In that way, every inch of the track can be examined.) While the operators are proceeding they carefully watch the track looking for damage. Everyone reports back to rail control, which determines if the line or lines can reopen. Decisions are based on the common sense of humans, rather than seismic machines.

Should a significant event occur, the entire rail system would be shut down and not reopen until all lines have been thoroughly checked and determined to be safe. The term “significant” does not refer to Richter scale strength but to a variety of factors including strength and location of the quake and the judgment of rail control staff.

Should operators feel an earthquake (not that obvious in a moving train), they must immediately stop where they are and then proceed slowly to the next station. Or they may be given specific instructions from the rail control center, which generally will tell them to begin sweeping.

 

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And here is another Source post on how subways are designed to withstand quakes, including the above chart. Excerpt:

There is no specific magnitude that subways are designed to universally withstand. The strength and flexibility the subway is designed for depends on the characteristics of earthquake faults in the area and their proximity to the structure being designed. In other words, the main question engineers ask is this: how strong is the ground shaking likely to be at the tunnels and stations?

The forecasted level of ground shaking at a particular location is garnered from seismic hazard maps published by the United States Geological Survey.  Building designers and engineers use these same maps to design their projects.

Obviously, Southern California sits in the midst of well-known earthquake country (here is a list of notable earthquakes in California in the past 200 years; the largest was a 7.9-magnitude quake near Fort Tejon in 1857).  Metro’s design criteria requires that its facilities are designed to ensure both life safety and the ability to be repaired after larger earthquakes – the ones that are predicted to occur every 2500 years. At the same time, Metro’s facilities are designed to ensure continuous operation in smaller earthquakes that have a probability of recurring every 150 years.

Upcoming Foothill Boulevard closures in Azusa: full weekend and one-way closures between Vernon and Orange avenues

Photo: The bridge over Foothill Boulevard in Azusa. Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Photo: The railroad bridge over Foothill Boulevard in Azusa with the new bridge deck beams. Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Here’s the construction notice 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:

WHO: Residents / Commuters / Business Owners in the City of Azusa.

WHAT: Crews will set the bridge deck beams for the three Foothill Blvd Bridges, as part of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project. One bridge is for freight, and two for light rail. Some activities will require a full street closure (both east and westbound) during the first two weekends, while others will require daily directional (one-way) closures for approximately six weeks in each direction during off-peak travel hours. During the closures, detour signage will be posted to direct traffic around the work area.

WHEN:

WEEKEND FULL STREET CLOSURES (UPDATED)

- Friday, March 7, 2014 at 9:00 pm until Monday, March 10, 2014 at 5:00 am: Foothill Boulevard will be closed to thru-traffic in both directions between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians.

- Friday, March 14, 2014 at 9:00 pm until Monday, March 17, 2014 at 5:00 am: Foothill Boulevard will be closed to thru-traffic in both directions between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave. Traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists and pedestrians.

DAILY OFF-PEAK DIRECTIONAL CLOSURES (SIX WEEKS IN EACH DIRECTION):

- Monday, March 17, 2014, daily for approximately 6 weeks: Eastbound Foothill Blvd will be closed to thru-traffic daily between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave during the hours of 4:00 am – 2:00 pm only. Eastbound traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists during these hours.

- Monday, April 28, 2014, daily for approximately 6 weeks: Westbound Foothill Blvd will be closed to thru-traffic daily between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave during the hours of 9:00 am – 10:00 pm only. Westbound traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists during these hours.

WHERE: Foothill Boulevard between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave in the City of Azusa.

WHAT TO EXPECT:

- During the closures, traffic will be detoured and signage will be posted to direct motorists.

- The sidewalk will remain closed to pedestrians during the full weekend closure; however, pedestrian access will be available on one side of Foothill Boulevard during the “one-way” closures.

- Motorists are advised to expect delays and use alternate routes when possible.

- Access to all local businesses on Foothill Blvd will remain open at all times.

Construction schedules are subject to change for various reasons, including, but not limited to, weather conditions and unforeseen delays.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

- Visit www.foothillextension.org

# # #

About the 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 from Union Station to Pasadena and is underway on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Foothill Extension 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 fully funded by Measure R and will 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 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 proceeding to advanced conceptual engineering in 2014.

Israeli prime minister visit may delay or detour some Metro buses

Map of expected street closures via KPCC.org

Map of expected street closures via KPCC.org

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Los Angeles this week and authorities have warned his motorcade may cause traffic flare-ups on the Westside over the next three days.

Unfortunately, Metro buses are not exempt from the rolling closures that could slow traffic, or close streets entirely, as the Prime Minister moves from place to place. Customers traveling through the Westside today through Thursday should allow extra time to reach their destination, as some bus lines in the area may experience delays of up to 20 minutes, or temporary detours. Metro Rail will not be impacted.

While the exact movements of the prime minister’s motorcade are not released ahead of time, the Secret Service has issued a general traffic advisory with areas to avoid during specific times. Here’s the info via the LAPD’s blog:

Tuesday March 4th 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 Freeway and Melrose Ave. 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • 405 Freeway between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Freeway 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Melrose Ave between La Cienega and Van Ness 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday March 5th, 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 Fwy and Melrose Ave 7:30 a.m. – 8:30, & 4:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.
  • 405 Fwy between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Fwy 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m., & 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
  • 10 Fwy between 405 Fwy and CA Highway 1/PCH from 6:30 p.m. – 10:45 p.m.
  • CA Hwy 1/PCH between 10 Fwy and Malibu Canyon Rd. 6:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Thursday March 6th, 2014

  • Santa Monica Blvd between 405 and Melrose Ave 8:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Pico Blvd between Roxbury and Castello 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
  • 405 Fwy between Wilshire Blvd. and 105 Fwy 12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

For possible bus detours as motorcade closures unfold, please follow our Twitter feed or visit metro.net.

Storm update #2 — next wave is expected (ugh) in time for afternoon rush hour

Storm2

The next wave of rain and wind is expected to hit Los Angeles County about 3 p.m. about 2 p.m. (it’s coming down hard now at Union Station!) and possibly continue through the afternoon rush hour.

The rain and wind overnight and this morning caused some problems, including:

•There was a temporary loss of electricity to the Green Line rail yard. Power has been restored and there was no impact to regular service.

•There were delays up to 20 minutes on the Orange Line due to a downed tree blocking the busway near Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Buses were back on normal schedule about 9:30 a.m.

•There were water-related signal issues on the Gold Line just south of Union Station. The problem was resolved at 11 a.m. 

•There were 15-minute delays along the Blue Line due to a disabled train at San Pedro station. The issue was cleared about 9 a.m. and schedules then returned to normal.

•There were 10- to 20-minute delays on the Expo Line due to a disabled train at Culver City station.  

•LADOT and LAPD have been closing roads in the Sepulveda Flood Control Basin, due to rising water. Metro Bus }154 is on high-water detour at this time.

All lines are running normal service at this time.

To stay up-to-date on the status of your bus or train, follow Metro on Twitter at @metrolosangeles and @metroLAalerts, and be sure to check back here at The Source.

The current scene looking west from the Metro Mothership:

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

 

Storm update: delays on Orange Line, Blue Line and Expo Line this morning due to weather issues

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From the Will Rogers beach webcam.

Some service updates as of 8 a.m.

ORANGE LINE: There are some 20-minute delays along the Orange Line due a downed tree near Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Buses detouring via Burbank Boulevard between Whitsett and  Laurel Canyon. Tree crews are on the scene. Please expect delays to last through the morning rush hour.

EASTSIDE GOLD LINE: Up to 10-minute delays between Union Station and Atlantic due to signal issues.

BLUE LINE: Due to an earlier disabled train at San Pedro, there are some residual delays along the line. 

EXPO LINE: There have been up to 10 minute delays on Expo Line trains rdue to an earlier disabled train at Culver City station.

To stay up-to-date on the status of your bus or train, follow Metro on Twitter at @metrolosangeles and @metroLAalerts, and be sure to check back here at The Source.