Metro begins excavation of three underground stations for Crenshaw/LAX Line

Drilling near the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard & Exposition Boulevard. Photo by Metro.

Drilling near the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard & Exposition Boulevard. Photo by Metro.

The 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX light rail project currently under construction will have three underground stations: Crenshaw/Exposition, Crenshaw/MLK and Crenshaw/Vernon. Excavation and decking for the stations is set to begin in November.

Construction of the three stations and the 1.9-mile twin tunnels will take four years of intense and complex labor. In November 2014, Metro’s contractor Walsh Shea Corridor Contractors (WSCC) will begin to excavate the first underground station at Crenshaw/Exposition.

Work is expected to begin the first week of November and will continue until Nov. 24. The contractor will not work during the Thanksgiving holiday and will resume work on Dec. 1 through Dec. 14. If it is necessary, the contractor may continue with more work in January, 2015.

For now, Crenshaw Boulevard between Exposition Boulevard and Rodeo Place is experiencing closures from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. to finish the storm drain, protect utilities, and to place steel piles in order to finish the underground perimeter wall before major excavation begins.

There will, however, be a full 14-day closure in order for the four perimeter walls to be constructed. This closure will be on Rodeo Road at the intersection with Crenshaw Boulevard. The closure will begin at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, and run through Friday, Nov. 7. It will take approximately two weeks to complete the perimeter walls in this segment.  Work will be conducted around-the-clock. This will then be followed by major excavation.

Crenshaw/MLK

The work for this underground station is taking place on the west side of Crenshaw Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Stocker Street, where the contractor continues prep work before cutting mix soil and steel piling process begins.

Crenshaw/Vernon

Traffic reconfiguration and setting up K-rail has taken place already and piling installation is expected to soon begin.

Need assistance? Try the Metro customer service center at Wilshire/Vermont Station

Photos: Anna Chen/Metro

In late June 2014, the Wilshire/La Brea Customer Service Center relocated to Wilshire/Vermont due to forthcoming Purple Line Extension construction. Since the July 1 of the Wilshire/Vermont Customer Service Center opening, Metro staff has assisted approximately 16,000 people.

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Metro customer service centers offer a variety of services to Metro riders. You can get timetables, plan your trip, provide feedback and purchase TAP cards–which you’ll need in order to take advantage of the free 2-hour transfers. It’s also the place to submit applications for reduced fare TAP cards, such as Senior or Student TAP cards.

The Wilshire/Vermont Customer Service Center is located at 3183 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 174, just around the corner from the Red and Purple Line Wilshire/Vermont Station entrance. It’s also served by numerous Metro and municipal buses that stop at the plaza. The service center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To see the locations of other Metro customer service centers, click here.

Odd Market has been moved to November 6

Author’s Note: Event has been postponed to November 6, and we will update with time and venue information once it is available. Thank you.

Why You Share the Ride: biking and bus riding for an express commute

During Rideshare Week, we’ll be featuring stories submitted by real commuters talking about why they share the ride. Join the conversation and let us know why you share the ride! Tweet us @metrolosangeles using the hashtag #RideshareLA. And don’t forget to pledge online for a chance to win some awesome prizes.

The following rideshare story comes to us from Tony Gaimari, who commutes from Culver City to downtown Los Angeles.

Tony_Gaimari (2)“I live in Culver City and began working in downtown L.A. three years ago. My employer provides a $125 monthly stipend to be put towards parking or transit costs. I discovered the Commuter Express shortly after taking the job and bought monthly passes for the first year. Nice buses and pleasant drivers make it an easy way to get back and forth from Culver City to DTLA.

When summer arrived, I decided to try using my bike to get home, allowing me to cut down to the 20-ticket books for the Commuter Express and get some exercise. I was concerned about riding in because there is no shower facility in my office.

For the last two years, however, I have been biking in both directions. I am lucky enough to have the Ballona Creek Bike Path for the first 3 miles of my 11.7-mile ride, then I take the Jefferson/Exposition bike lanes following the Metro Expo Line. A short street jog through the USC area to Grand Avenue and I’m back in bike lanes from 30th Street almost all the way to my office at 5th Street.

I have found that as long as I put on clean clothes after a shower in the morning, a quick “G.I. shower” with baby wipes and towel in the men’s room followed by deodorant and talc is sufficient hygiene for someone who shares an office.

I keep my TAP card loaded in case I decide to jump on the Expo Line, and I still have a TAP card for the Commuter Express which I reload every few months for my “lazy Friday afternoon” home trip. But I love that every time I ride, I’m putting money in my pocket and keeping inches off my waist line!

Keep up the good work encouraging and facilitating ways to get around without a car, and keep adding more bike lanes.”

 

Construction Notice: Overland Avenue weekend closures between National and Pico Boulevards

 

expo notice expo notice map

Here’s the construction notice from the Expo Line Construction Authority, the agency building the six-mile project that will extend tracks from Culver City to downtown Santa Monica with seven new stations. Full weekend closures of Overland Avenue will be taking place for roadway improvements as part of the Expo Line project.

The project is funded mostly by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. It is currently forecast to open in early 2016.

Transportation headlines, Tuesday, October 7

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

ART OF TRANSPO: Yeah, I'm really into black-and-white lately. Pony kegs are unique to Cincy as far as I know--small corner markets that sell, well, you know. I shot this one last night during my ongoing sojourn to the Queen City (it's a help-the-parents thing). Photo by Steve Hymon.

ART OF TRANSPO: Yeah, I’m really into black-and-white lately. Pony kegs are unique to Cincy as far as I know–small corner markets that sell, well, you know. I shot this one last night during my ongoing sojourn to the Queen City (it’s a help-the-parents thing). Photo by Steve Hymon.

Request to the baseball Gods: a true blue Royals-Dodgers World Series please, following a Giants-Dodgers NLCS. I think the last time that the Dodgers-Giants met in the post-season was 1951…

Sure looks like Thomson may have missed third base to me. If you have a DeLorean, please check that out. Whatever happens this season, the Dodger Stadium Express is prepared to roll for Game Five of the Division Series on Thursday, the NLCS and the Fall Classic.

Metro to aid businesses chocked by construction (Intersection South L.A.)

Coverage of the Metro Board of Director’s vote last week to create a $10-million pilot “business interruption fund” program to reimburse small businesses harmed by construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Regional Connector and/or the first phase of the Purple Line Extension. Excerpt:

The pilot program will fund up to 60 percent of potential business revenue loss, as long as the businesses can document to Metro that construction is causing the loss. Since businesses are already suffering from the construction, many board members were ready to help out.

“It certainly is a way to add the most public good and create the least private harm,” said Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, a Metro board member. “Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from a business owner or a non-profit on the Crenshaw/LAX line about the impact that our work is having on them currently.”

Complaints have included blocked parking, accessibility and signage.

 

CicLAvia No. 10: huge, wonderful, happy, but no longer newsworthy? (Streetsblog LA)

Joe Linton looks at the lack of press coverage for Sunday’s “Heart of L.A.” CicLAvia (Metro was an event sponsor) and notes that advance coverage tends to run along the lines of “beware of closed streets!” As far as I can tell, the non-media crowd seems to love the events and treats occasional road closures as something routine and not something potentially catastrophic :)

There’s a brand new vocabulary being heard on the streets, NYC planning rock star says (UCLA news release) 

Former Gotham transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (an Occidental grad, btw) gave a talk to a packed auditorium at UCLA the other night. She’s best known for turning parts of Broadway in New York into pedestrian plazas, greatly expanding bike lanes across the city (including protected bike lanes) and installing more BRT lanes. Excerpt:

Sadik-Khan concluded the lecture with a word of caution and advice. Recounting the ways the media reported negatively on the changes she implemented in New York City, she explained that, “when you push the status quo, it can push back.” She added: “We are simply not going to create healthier, safer, more sustainable cities with the strategies that we followed up till now, that ignore all the other ways that a street is used.”

Her recommendation to the diverse audience of planners, academics, citizens and those who work daily in city government on these problems was this: “All sorts of new options are taking hold and planners need to adapt to these new changes and understand the way people want to get around. And we’re really just starting to glimpse what this shared economy means for transportation and cities.”

I saw her speak in L.A. a couple of years ago and thought she lived up to the hype. Here’s my write-up of that talk. Obviously, I’m a fan of hers and think it would be great to have someone like her permanently working in our region — she has the rare combination of clout, political and oratory skills to get things done.

High-speed rail line takes first step toward buying trains (Sacramento Business Journal) 

It’s a very preliminary step — asking rail car manufacturers to submit letters of interest. The California High-Speed Rail Authority will eventually ask for formal bids. Whether the cars are eventually ordered likely depends on how much of the line the agency is able to fund and build.

With no new rail tunnel on the horizon, a looming transportation crisis in New York (The Transport Politic) 

Good post by Yonah Freemark on the brewing controversy in New York. Amtrak says its two rail tunnels under the Hudson were damaged by Hurricane Sandy and need to eventually be repaired. Problem is, shutting down one tunnel at a time for repairs would greatly curtail the number of Amtrak trains into and out of Manhattan — the busiest Amtrak hub. One solution is a new set of tunnels, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie canceled that project in 2010 citing cost concerns.

Excerpt:

But the cost of losing the rail link under the Hudson may be larger. Amtrak’s leadership of this project is an acknowledgement of the national importance of this line (is it the nation’s most important transit project?), as it is the essential rail link not only between New York City and points south, but also between all of New England, Long Island, and much of Upstate New York with points south — totaling almost 10 percent of the U.S. population. The next rail connection over the Hudson is more than 140 miles north, just south of Albany. It is also the connection that makes it possible for hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans to work in Manhattan.

Trying to think of something analogous to our region. Perhaps it’s this: imagine what would happen if two of the following — the 10, 60 or 210 — had to be entirely closed for a year?

 

Video: George Takei serving as M.C. at Regional Connector groundbreaking

We didn’t get a chance to post video last week of George Takei serving as Master of Ceremonies at the groundbreaking for the Regional Connector. Enjoy the video that Anna edited together earlier — and, yes, we know the flag was in the way.

And George — thank you very much for helping with the Metro event and promoting transit, current and future.