Expo Phase II kickoff meetings draw numerous, engaged participants

The meeting kicked off with an overview of the Expo Light Rail project.

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.

Community members pour over ariel photos with an Expo representative.

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.

4 replies

  1. Carter, great coverage, but could someone address the news that the Phase 1 opening is going to be delayed even further? Streetsblog posted this story (http://bit.ly/jTGDVy) last week, and I’d love to hear a response from Metro, ideally including some details about the delay. Could one of you get ahold of the Expo Construction Authority and post something to the blog?

    • Hi Alex;

      The Streetsblog post was speculative; there has been no announcement of a delay. As for Metro, officials here have only said that they know that the Construction Authority is targeting a November opening but that Metro will operate the line when it’s safe and ready for public consumption.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. From what I gather from this post, I’m glad to see this meeting was not shrouded in negativity the way that the meetings were regarding cheviot hills. Hopefully there is and will continue to be strong enthusiasm in Santa Monica about this significant transit milestone.

    But I really hope that there are eventually plans to connect the future purple line to expo if the subway does not reach downtown SM. It really would help this line so much.