New transformers to power up Metro Blue Line

We’re posting some b-roll here in case you missed the parade of flatbeds down Washington Boulevard and the afterglow of work crews dangling an 83-ton transformer from a crane early this morning.

The installation of the first of 20 traction power substations — whose job it is to power the Blue Line and its passenger stations — began about 2 a.m. and lasted until dawn at a site adjacent to the Metro Blue Line Washington Station just south of downtown Los Angeles.

There’s 19 more installations scheduled along the 22-mile Blue Line alignment and they’ll drop every 60 days or so until the completion date in mid-2014.

The traction power substation replacement project is funded by grants totaling $71 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). That means jobs, according to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who issued a statement for a Metro news release: “This federal investment will put hundreds of Californians to work while improving service for riders on the Metro Blue Line.”

Metro officials expect a total of 771 jobs to be generated during the life of the project, and each of the new substations will consume approximately 5% less energy than the existing power substations, which are expiring.

The Metro Blue Line, approaching its 20th anniversary July 14, has an average weekday ridership of more than 77,000 passengers who take the 22-mile railway between Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles.

Categories: Transportation News