Metro Board to tackle Crenshaw Line, Harbor Subdivsion

CrenshawRouteThe Metro Board of Directors meets Thursday morning at Metro headquarters and votes are on tap on two big issues: The Crenshaw Line and the Harbor Subdivision.

Let’s tackle Crenshaw first. In November, Metro staff recommended that the Crenshaw Line be a light rail line and also picked a route for the line and made some recommendations (see the above map) on which segments of the line would be at street level, built above ground on aerial structures or below ground. The Metro Board tomorrow will vote on whether to accept the staff choices and begin further environmental study and design work. Here’s a link to an earlier post on The Source explaining the route and how the line may work and here’s the Crenshaw project page on the Metro website.

It should be noted that Board Member and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has asked that an additional part of the line, on Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 59th streets be built below ground. That will likely be part of tomorrow’s conversation. Also likely to be discussed is a site for a rail yard in El Segundo — the city doesn’t want it — and the selection of a contractor to do outreach work for the line. It should be noted that for the most part it hasn’t been determined yet by Metro officials what the below ground segments would look like — whether they’re a full subway or in a trench.

The Harbor Subdivision — a name only a rail wonk could love — is a 26-mile freight corridor that Metro purchased in the 1990s, the idea being it may be useful for mass transit one day. A study called an alternatives analysis to examine different potential uses for the corridor was launched in 2008. It recently wrapped up and said the best use, for now, would be to extend the Green Line south from its current terminus in Redondo Beach to the Torrance Regional Center.

The Metro Board is scheduled to vote on that study and whether to launch draft environmental studies of extending the line.

There are also a number of other issues on tap for tomorrow’s meeting. Among those: a discussion on whether Metro has the financial ability to accelerate a number of Measure R projects so that they’re built in the next 10 years instead of the next 30 years, as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed. The Board will also vote on an $11.5 million contract with a consultant to look at potential public-private partnerships. Here’s a link to the full Board agenda and the supplemental agenda.