Regional Connector design-build contractor recommended by Metro staff

Metro staff recommends a $927.2-million design/build contract with Regional Connector Constructors (a Joint Venture between Skanska USA Civil West California District, Inc., and Traylor Bros. Inc.) to build the Regional Connector project. The staff report is above.

The 1.9-mile underground rail line, forecast to be complete in 2020, will connect the Gold Line to the Blue and Expo lines and allow trains to travel directly from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica. This should speed trips through downtown and reduce the number of transfers for most riders.

The project is partially funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

The Board of Directors will consider the contract recommendation at their Construction Committee meeting on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Room at Metro headquarters, adjacent to Union Station. The full Board is scheduled to consider the contract at its meeting on Thursday, April 24, at 9:30 a.m.

After the contract is awarded, the Regional Connector will be the fourth rail project now under construction, joining the Crenshaw/LAX Line, Expo Line Phase 2 and the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Purple Line Extension contract is expected to be awarded this summer and it will be the fifth rail project in Los Angeles under construction because of Measure R. In addition, Metro has begun receiving the first of 550 new state-of-the-art buses and is spending $1.2 billion to overhaul the Metro Blue Line, including the purchase of new light rail vehicles.


24 replies

  1. Are they planning to get new cars after all of this opens up or use the current cars in the new configuration? The Gold Line cars are clean and updated while the Blue/ and now Expo line cars are old and beaten up. I enjoy my commute on the Gold Line now and hope that we all will get to ride nicer trains!
    It seems odd that 7th St has become the only stop on the new Gold Line that currently goes to Union Station, as well as only transfer point to Red/ Purple. So, if someone uses Metrolink they will have to travel to Little Tokyo or 7th St depending on if they are going east or west from there. 7th St is already congested with Red/Purple/Blue/Expo traffic all converging there. Now, this plan is adding Red/Purple transfers and Gold Line traffic to that mix. Is there a plan to renovate 7th St as part of this plan?

  2. Wouldn’t it be better for the gold line to travel from pasadena to long beach and another train coming from pasadena to santa monica without having to transfer to the other train coming from East LA? I also think metro should also keep some trains going to East LA from pasadena because honestly I hate transfers.

  3. Transferring between the two lines will be easy and can be done at any of four ?? downtown L.A. stations. (( Need to Correct 5-Stations )) PICO / 7th-Metro / 2nd-Hill / 2nd-Brodway / 1st-Central

  4. Why, exactly, is Metro planning on a Pasadena/Long Beach and Santa Monica/East LA alignment? That whole “north/south line and east/west line” explanation doesn’t really make sense to me. The northern half of the Gold Line is more of an east/west line than a north/south line, especially once the Foothill Extension is completed.

    Are there ridership projections that support that alignment? Is it because historically the Blue Line was planned to go through Downtown and on to Pasadena? Is it because it just looks good on a map? Surely there’s some sort of reason. I’m honestly just curious here.

  5. Warren:

    Trains are expected to run from Pasadena (actually, Azusa) to Long Beach, and Santa Monica to East L.A. The current route from Pasadena to East L.A. will be removed: you will need to transfer at 1st/Central if you want to travel between Pasadena and East L.A.

    The map shows both the new routes and the current Gold Line route, so it is a bit confusing.

  6. How will the construction affect current gold line route? When the line is under construction how will the old route will be connected to the new route without closure of the area near little tokyo/ arts district station?

  7. why would they leave the goldline along…the new division is on the route to asusa

  8. @ISTJ04…..this collapse you speak of was a result of poor worksmanship by McCarthy Construction, a completely separate entity than Metro, as if anybody didnt know that. Just an FYI.

  9. It appears that the Gold line will go from Pasadena to Santa Monica and also from Pasadena to East LA..Great idea! Also, the blue line will go from Long Beach to Pasadena.

    • Hi Warren;

      Please see my earlier reply and the post. Trains will run between Azusa and Long Beach and between Santa Monica and East L.A. Transferring between the two lines will be easy and can be done at any of five downtown L.A. stations.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hi Henry;

      The answer to your question: hypothetically, yes. But at this time Metro is planning on running trains between East L.A. and Santa Monica and between Azusa and Long Beach.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  10. The Metro Red Line was not under construction for 7 years. It started construction in 1986 and wrapped up to North Hollywood in 2000. 14 years.

    Keep in mind, the New York 2nd Avenue is taking 7 years as well to go 2 miles. There’s a lot of work to be done when digging. Even when you hear short timelines in other cities, they’re not telling you the true timeline with utilities relocations, studies, designing, etc….

  11. Sounds good, now get it built.

    BTW, part of the lengthy schedule has to do with the timeline of funding. Measure R sales tax funds pay for part of this project: it’s not like all the money is available at once. If it were, the project could be built much faster.

  12. I’m confused by this map… I thought the plan was to close the current Little Tokyo/Arts District station and replace it with a new underground station at 1st/Central… but this map appears to show that old station will remain open?

    Is this the case and if it’s not is there a way this map can be changed to note that the Little Tokyo/Arts District station will be closed.

  13. Perhaps the contract can be accelerated not only to create new service but to alleviate the station jam created when the Expo Line also terminated at 7th and Flower station.

  14. 6 years to dig less then 2 miles? Correct me if I am wrong, but it took the same length of time time build the Red Line to North Hollywood, and that distance is A LOT FURTHER! How is this “Regional Connector” going to be dug, with plastic teaspoons? This is the biggest MTA BOONDOGGLE of the current decade (as if the collapsing roof at the Division 13 parking garage was not bad enough!).

    • Three underground stations must also be excavated and constructed and the tracks have to be tied into three existing light rail lines. That’s a lot of work, one reason it will take several years to build the project.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source