To repeat: the Crenshaw/LAX Line final environmental document has been released

In case you missed our earlier post, here’s the news release about the release Wednesday of the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report for the Crenshaw/LAX Line, a key Measure R transit project.

The entire document can be viewed online — here’s the link. It’s long, as these reports always are.

The Metro Board of Directors are scheduled to vote on the document at their Sept. 22 meeting. The big issues concerning the project that the Board still must decide are these:

•Whether to build a below grade separation at La Brea.

•Whether to build the rail line below grade between its northern terminus at Exposition Boulevard and 39th Street due to potential impacts with traffic and property in that area. The above rendering shows what the transfer would look like between the Expo and Crenshaw lines under this scenario.

•Whether to the the rail line in a partially covered trench adjacent to the south runways for Los Angeles International Airport, as is requested by the Federal Aviation Administration for safety reasons. The partially covered trench is an interim solution — a fully covered trench could be built when funding becomes available.

*Whether to build a maintenance facility for the line near LAX — at Arbor Vitae and Bellanca. The Board of Directors approved the location earlier this year, but now must formally incorporate the site into the project.

Finally, the Board must vote to certify the document under California environmental law. In addition, the document must be approved by the Federal Transit Administration under national environmental law. If all these approvals occur, then the project could reach the construction stage by summer 2013.


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11 replies

  1. Steve,

    A very important error on the posting, the Board will have to decide if the Centinela Avenue (in Inglewood) crossing stays at-grade.

    La Brea Avenue per the Grade Crossing Safety policy falls within the threshold to warrant Grade Separation.

  2. Maybe in the future the Crenshaw line could connect to the Green line to continue south into the south bay. If or when the Green line is extended north to West Hollywood/Hollywood, it could be one long line that extend into the South Bay.

  3. This may be pipe dream at this point, but I think it’s a great idea to look at for the future…

    Connect the tracks at Expo/Crenshaw so trains could actually continue onto the Expo line tracks. I’ve written a fairly long blog post you can find here about how/why this could work: but the main point is that it will provide one-seat rides across the county (like the Regional Connector) and flexibility within the system.

    In my opinion, neither of the MOS are really acceptable… the train needs to at least meet and allow transfers at both the Expo and Green lines. Without the full line, it will really be a break in the system.

  4. Assuming then that the underground station does get built, doesn’t that mean that the crenshaw expo line crossing could be gated as opposed to just an open crossing like it is. As I recall the only reason it was not gated was so it could facilitate a perpendicular crenshaw line crossing, but since it will most likely be below grade, it seems very odd to have an open crossing on a dedicated ROW. In fact its the only non street running crossing that is not gated.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but in reading through the executive summary it seemed like the question of whether to sink the portion leading to the Expo Line had been settled; the debate was whether to build that portion at all.

    To me it read that the project might not be able to bring the Crenshaw Line all the way up to the Expo Line, and so a shorter option would be to build from the Green Line to Crenshaw/MLK. Another alternative was to connect to Expo, but then the line couldn’t get all the way to the Green Line.

    Forgive the lengthy quote, but here’s the section I’m talking about (pp ES15-16):

    The LPA’s northern terminus at the Crenshaw/Exposition Station had an at-grade configuration with a design option for a below-grade alignment (Design Option 6), which would extend a tunnel between 39th Street and a below-grade Crenshaw/Exposition Station. During
    the ACE phase, all analyzed at-grade configurations were determined infeasible due to physical constraints and significant traffic and land use impacts. Design Option 6 is determined to be a feasible alternative to an at-grade alignment and is recommended for inclusion into the project definition, contingent upon the section’s financial feasibility.

    In the event that Design Option 6 cannot be incorporated into the project, the FEIS/FEIR also considers two Minimum Operable Segments (MOS) alternatives that would be consistent with the Metro financial plan for the project. MOS-King would extend from the Metro Green Line to the King Station, at a distance of 8 miles. MOS-Century would extend from the Metro Exposition Line to the Aviation/Century Station, at a distance of 7.4 miles, and would include Design Option 6. MOS-Century would also require a bus feeder connection to the Metro Green Line at the southern end.

    Maybe there’s contrary information elsewhere, but to me that sounds like the current financial plan for the project will only deliver a Crenshaw Line that either doesn’t connect to Expo or doesn’t connect to the Green Line. Isn’t that a more important question for the board to consider?

    • Hi Alex;

      My understanding is that the Board still must decide to put that section underground and ensure it fits within the project budget. As is often the case with projects, pretty much everything is ultimately up to the Board.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. Amen to that, putting the exposition blvd. station underground was a very smart move and will make it much easier to continue moving north with the boring machines underground. This line will transform Los Angeles transit when it is finally connected to Hollywood due to its destination points and connections to four rail lines (red, purple, expo, green).

  7. I’d like to see this line continue northwest up San Vicente to Fairfax, and then north on Fairfax to Santa Monica, and then northeast to Hollywood/Highland. And while I’m making wishes… how about extending the north end of the Red Line so it meets Metrolink somewhere in Burbank?