The groundbreaking for the Crenshaw/LAX Line was one year ago this week. That makes this a good time to look back at the progress on the 8.5-mile, $2.058-billion light rail line that will run between the Expo Line and Green Line.
The new line will include eight new stations serving the Crenshaw District, Park Mesa Heights, downtown Inglewood and Los Angeles International Airport.
The project is funded by the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008; the ballot measure received particularly heavy support along the Crenshaw Corridor. Metro is currently forecasting a 2019 completion date for the project.
The Metro Board last year also approved an additional station to be built at Aviation/96th where rail passengers can transfer to a people mover being built by LAX that will have three stations near the airport’s passenger terminals. Metro will continue work on required environmental studies for the new station.
Two big milestones were reached in 2014:
First, the decking was completed for the Expo/Crenshaw underground station — one of three underground stations. The decking allows Crenshaw Boulevard to remain open at the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards while excavation work will continue below street level.
Second, the old railroad bridge over Century Boulevard near LAX was demolished last year in order to make way for the new elevated station.
Other construction activity in the past year includes:
•Demolition and clearing of several parcels needed for construction of the project.
•Removal of old freight railroad track along the alignment between 67th Street and Imperial Highway.
•The arrival last fall of the tunnel boring machine. It was manufactured in Germany and will be assembled here.
There will be a lot more heavy construction in 2015. In particular:
•The tunnel boring machine will be lowered into the ground at Expo/Crenshaw and tunneling work will begin going from north to south.
•Work will continue on the aerial Aviation/Century Station near LAX.
•There will be more excavation and decking work on the three underground stations at Crenshaw/Expo, Crenshaw/MLK and Crenshaw/Vernon.
•Work should begin on bridges over La Brea Avenue, Manchester Boulevard and 111th Street and the bridge that will carry the train over the 405 freeway.
•Construction will start on the structure that will connect Crenshaw/LAX Line tracks to the Green Line just south of LAX.
•Later in the year, work should begin on the Florence/West, Hindry and La Brea Stations as well as a pedestrian tunnel under the tracks adjacent to Faithful Central Bible Church.
Business Solution Center & Business Interruption Fund
Metro’s Business Solution Center opened its doors in December and began offering assistance to small businesses impacted by project construction.
The Center is operated by Del Richards & Associates and is providing help on everything from loan applications to advice on advertising and marketing. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place in February.
Another pilot program is expected to begin in February: a Business Interruption Fund that provides financial assistance to small businesses that suffer financial losses by project construction.
Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw Campaign
The Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw campaign was created by Metro to help merchants in the area during construction. More than 1,000 people have taken the pledge to support Crenshaw area businesses and Metro has been pushing the campaign on the radio and with videos shown on Metro’s website and video screens on buses.
To learn more about Eat, Shop, Play Crenshaw please click here. If you need an incentive, Metro will be holding quarterly drawings for cash prizes, up to $1,000! .
Project Labor Agreement and Career Construction Policy
In 2012, the Metro Board of Directors adopted the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) and Career Construction Policy (CCP) in the nation. The purpose of the Agreement and Policy is to assure there are no strikes or work stoppages and to target workers for apprenticeship that have faced significant barriers to employment due to poverty or other defined categories.
There are currently 12 projects that are governed by the PLA/CCP, with the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project being the first with such hiring goals: 40% Targeted Economically Disadvantaged Workers by low income zip code, 20% apprentices and 10% Disadvantaged workers .i.e. single parents, foster care, having a criminal record, being jobless, veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.
Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors, the Prime Contractor on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project is currently attaining (through Nov. 2014): 58.41% Targeted Economically Disadvantaged Workers, 13.67% Apprentices and 10.09% Disadvantaged Workers. Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors has indicated that it anticipates meeting the project goal of 20% apprentices by January 2017.
For all of constructions activities taking place In the public right of way, Construction Relations continues to advise stakeholders prior to the construction commencing through distribution of construction notices. For major activities, the community is provided an early alert about upcoming work, briefings and progressive updates until the work is scheduled and completed. Using both traditional and social media, Construction Relations seeks to keep an informed and prepared stakeholder in the project area.
The CLC set the tone for community engagement for the life of theCrenshaw/LAX Transit Project, which is scheduled to be in operation in 2019.
Metro’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program will also continue working with Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors (WSCC) to ensure that qualified firms get work on the project. On the project, WSCC has a 20 percent DBE commitment for design work with a current attainment of 17.29 percent participation. Design work is nearly 69 percent complete. Construction work has a 20 percent commitment with an attainment of 10.33 percent participation. Construction work is 15 percent complete.
To learn much more about the Crenshaw/LAX Line, please visit the project web page on Metro’s website.