On Monday and Wednesday this week, the Expo Construction Authority held open house-style community meetings to introduce Westside residents to the Expo Phase II construction process and the contracting team, Skanska/Rados. The second phase of the Expo Line will connect Culver City and downtown Santa Monica.
As a Source writer, Westside resident and eager awaiter of Expo’s completion, I decided to check out yesterday’s event in Cheviot Hills. I wasn’t alone. My rough headcount found upwards of 150 others — on top of the 200-plus who attended Monday’s meeting in Santa Monica.
Wednesday’s meeting started off with a presentation — available here [PDF] — by Gaby Collins of the Expo Authority, in which she discussed the design-build timetable, the various construction elements and the how the community can have input on the project.
From there, the Phase II project manager for Skanska/Rados, Mike Arpacio, introduced the team that will be leading the construction operation. Then, Arpacio pivoted to discuss the various mitigation measures that will be undertaken to reduce the impacts of noise, dust and traffic during the construction period.
As community members then began mingling through the display tables, it was apparent that such concerns were at the front of many minds, mixed in with excitement about connecting the Westside to the beach and downtown L.A.
What impressed me most was how engaged and detail-oriented many individuals were. Even those who weren’t bonafide transit geeks (a term of endearment) wanted to know about station design, parking, grade crossings and the whole suite of elements that make a transit line an important fixture of the community.
Going forward, initial construction work — namely utility relocation — will soon get under way, while the contracting team wraps up the final designs for Expo Phase Two. Along the way, there will be more opportunities for community input, so stay tuned for more meetings. A great way to do so is to follow the official Expo Facebook page and Twitter feed to receive important updates.
The majority of the Expo Phase II project is being paid for with funds from Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by 68 percent of L.A. County voters in 2008.