A $927.2-million contract to build the Regional Connector light rail project was awarded to Connector Constructors (a Joint Venture between Skanska USA Civil West California District, Inc., and Traylor Bros. Inc.) by the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday.
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 Board also approved a motion by Board Member Don Knabe authorizing Metro CEO Art Leahy to add an upper level and pedestrian bridge at the Connector’s 2nd/Hope Street Station to better connect the station to Grand Avenue (2nd/Hope is down hill from Grand) and to secure funding for it, including an elevator and/or escalator. The motion asks for the upper level and bridge be incorporated into scope and project budget. Here is an earlier Source post with more renderings of what a second level and bridge may look like.
The $1.42-billion project is partially funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The Regional Connector is also being funded by a $670-million federal New Starts grant and $160-million federally-backed TIFIA loan.
The Board also approved Item 77C in closed session today involving a property acquisition from the Los Angeles Times at Broadway and Spring. Metro Board Chair Diane DuBois said terms of the agreement will be released after the deal is finalized.
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.
Here is the Metro staff report on the contract:
The news release from Metro is after the jump:
Metro Board Awards $927.2 Million Contract to Skanska USA/Traylor Bros.
To Design and Build the Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors today approved a $927.2 million contract to Regional Connector Constructors, a joint venture between Skanska USA Civil West California District, Inc. and Traylor Brothers Inc. to design and build the Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project.
The Regional Connector light rail project will complete a 1.9 mile gap connecting the Metro Gold Line with the Blue and Expo lines by providing a direct connection with three new stations planned for 1st Street/Central Avenue, 2nd Street/Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles.
In addition to awarding the contract, the Board also approved an additional $39.99 million for the Regional Connector Life-of-Project budget for a total budget of $1.420 billion. Of the four bids received, Skanska/Traylor had the overall highest ranking including the highest technical score and the highest evaluated score for pricing, based on the criteria in the request for proposals. In recommending the award of the contract, staff noted that Skanska/Traylor indicated that they plan to finish construction 115 days early and will absorb the cost of any delays caused by Metro or subcontractors.
The Regional Connector Project is an important rail connection project overwhelmingly approved by the voters and funded by the Measure R half-cent sales tax for LA County transportation improvements. Earlier this year, Metro joined federal, state and local elected officials in announcing the receipt of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) from the Federal Transit Administration in the amount of $670 million and a $160 million low interest federal loan from a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to fund the project.
The Regional Connector, expected to be completed in 2020, will attract nearly 17,000 new daily riders and provide access to more than 88,000 passengers saving commuters up to 20 minutes off their daily commutes. It will provide a one-seat, one fare ride for commuters from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica without the need to transfer between rail lines for major east/west and north/south trips.
The Metro Board also voted to have staff work with stakeholders and community members to identify and secure additional funding for an upper-level elevator entrance and pedestrian bridge to connect the 2nd /Hope Station to Grand Avenue and report back to the Board in September.
The new Metro Rail extension will offer an alternative transportation option to congested roadways, provide significant environmental benefits and spur economic development throughout Los Angeles County. Through improved connectivity, riders will be better able to use the entire Metro Rail system, municipal bus lines and other regional transportation services.
For more information about the Regional Connector project, visit metro.net/projects/connector.
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