Metro today provided the agency’s staff recommendation for a contractor to build the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line. Staff is recommending a contract in the amount of $1,272,632,356 to Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors. The contract includes stations at Leimert Park and Hindry that were approved last month by the Metro Board of Directors.
Walsh/Shea is a joint venture between Walsh Construction and J.F. Shea Company. Walsh/Shea has collaborated to work on many other rail projects in the United States, including the DART system in Dallas.
Walsh/Shea was one of four firms to submit proposals for the contract. The Metro staff evaluation gave Walsh/Shea the highest technical score; Walsh/Shea also had the lowest bid in terms of cost.
The Metro Board of Directors will decide on the contract award; the Board can choose to accept or reject the staff recommendation. The Board’s Construction Committee will discuss the contract at its meeting on June 20 and the full Board is scheduled to vote on the contract at their monthly meeting on Thursday, June 27, at Metro’s headquarters adjacent to Union Station. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Both the committee meeting and full Board meetings are, as usual, open to the public.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line is one of 12 transit projects being funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.
The light rail project between the Expo Line and the Green Line is currently forecast to open in 2019 with major construction beginning in 2014. Utility work is already underway. The Board is also being asked to add funds to the project’s budget to include the Leimert Park and Hindry stations, as well as extra contingency funds, bringing the project’s budget to $2.058 billion, assuming all the funding sources come through. The budget also includes funds for new rail cars, a rail maintenance yard, real estate acquisition and the costs of planning the line and other items not included in the contract total.
Some notes and background about the project and the contract:
•The line is forecast by Metro to have average weekday boardings of just under 25,000 by the year 2035. Metro and Los Angeles World Airports are working together on another Measure R project that would connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to LAX via either light rail, bus rapid transit and/or people mover. That project is currently scheduled to be completed in the late 2020s and will depend on funding from the city of Los Angeles.
•For those who want the Park Mesa Heights segment placed underground instead of running at street level, I want you to understand the process. First and foremost, it needs to be understood that the Board of Directors and the Federal Transit Administration have approved the project with a street-running segment through Park Mesa Heights. The Board has stuck with this decision.