Fresh pics: Crenshaw/LAX Line construction in July

The above are photos were shot over the last month of ongoing construction work on the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the 8.5-mile light rail project that will run between the Green Line and Expo Line. The photos are south to north.

The project is forecast to open in fall 2019. The project is funded largely through Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008, and a federal loan.

A ninth station will be added at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street to serve both Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line trains. That will serve as the transfer point to/from the LAX people mover that will serve the airport terminals.

Here is a full album of the latest pics on our Flickr page. And here’s a map of the project:

13 replies

  1. I’m so excited that Metro is expanding the public transit available in LA. However, I can’t help but be disappointed by the continued use of at-grade rail. I know that it is more expensive to build a subway or to build Arial rail, but the benefits are much higher. I can tell you why I and many others choose to use our own cars instead of public transit. It’s because even with the horrible traffic delays, using metro rail for me only cuts down about 10 minutes of travel time during high traffic hours. Most of the other time, I can use my car and get there 30 min earlier than if I were to take public transit. Public transit needs to be FASTER so that it’s actually more convenient for people to use. I’d rather have a full cent more of taxes and develop a speedy public transit system than have a public transit system that is only barely faster than using a car at peak traffic hours. I guess the rail system could be upgraded in the future, but who knows when that could happen. Construction costs will continue to rise.

  2. Since this line is destined to head north to Hollywood, has Metro made the appropriate provisions to the Purple line extension to minimize the cost / construction impacts of the eventual transfer station between these two lines (whether it be at La Brea, Fairfax or La Cienega)? Tearing up Wilshire Blvd to build the Purple line stations is already going to be expensive…tearing up Wilshire Blvd a SECOND time only a few years later to build the transfer station interface would be a complete waste of money and time.

    I am concerned because metro completely dropped the ball on the Expo/Crenshaw line transfer point (you’ll have to exit the underground station and cross Exposition Blvd to transfer platforms…adding precious minutes to the transfer not to mention an unnecessary pedestrian/car interface). This has got to be some of the worse urban transportation planning I have ever seen. Its not like one line was there for 50 years and then a new line was added…both these lines were conceived and planned over the same timeline, so for Metro to have not made provisions for a seamless transfer (i.e. 7th metro station underground transfer station as a working example) is irresponsible and borderline incompetence.

    Does Metro realize the amount people that will be using the Expo/Crenshaw transfer station once the Crenshaw line is extended to Hollywood and how that will impact the intersection? You will have people at rush hour standing is large groups waiting for the light, with people being forced, due to the small staging areas, to either stand in traffic or on the tracks…this is a recipe for disaster. Have we not learned anything from all the pedestrian accidents/deaths on the blue line? At a minimum, Metro should consider adding stairs/elevators at the closed ends of the Expo line platforms to a portal to the underground station…on the maps it looks like there is room. This will allow Expo passengers to transfer to the Crenshaw line without having to cross the street.

    I take the train everyday and encourage people to try the train all the time. Nobody wants metro to shine more than me be Metro has to do it right. Otherwise we’ll have another 100 year project that is not cost effective and optimal when it easily can be both.

    • Mike – this is typical Metro “planning”. They are laser-focused on a single project at a time to the exclusion of all else. There is no grand planning architect looking to what the future of Los Angeles transportation will look like. That’s why each project costs WAY more than it should!!!

    • Since there are 3 options still on the table for Purple/Crenshaw junction, I doubt any planning was done for the Purple stations. In fact, Metro said there were no cutouts planned at LaCienega when the Pink line was rejected.

      Your point about Expo/Crenshaw junction might be duplicated at LaCienega if Metro goes with West Hollywood’s preferred alternative. An above ground station on the Crenshaw on San Vicente with a walk to the underground Purple station on LaCienega.

      • I take back the street level connection at San Vicente & Wilshire. Crenshaw North would either have to be subterranean or areal at this point as there would never be an at grade crossing on Wilshire. Doesn’t that date back to Henry Wilshire’s deeding the land to the city specifically prohibiting rail on Wilshire Blvd?

    • it’s unlikely that at La Brea, Fairfax, or La Cienega that Crenshaw phase 2 will build a station platform underneath any of these stations, creating a cruciform intersection of station platforms.

      This is partly because the stations under Wilshire are all under wilshire. Wilshire Vermont and Seventh Metro are both under corner parcels of real estate, not under the roads.

      The station boxes currently being built are 800 feet long, and the platform is a huge chunk of that, a cruciform north south platform underneath the current platform would only cross the platform for a relatively small area.

      That makes ingress and egress from one platform to the other rather difficult because if you assume crush loads, elevators and escalators and stairs from upper to lower platform can only accommodate so many people, probably not adequete to meet the demand.

      Far more likely is for the Crenshaw Phase 2 to build a station platform in a T shape, with no crossover, and lengthy connector tunnels to the platform on the other line. This would let them cut and cover under the Purple line platform, or tunnel under neath it.

      and at fairfax, for example, the station box would be long enough that if the box is on the south side of the street, you could have northward exits to the Wilshire/Fairfax intersection, a northward transfer portal walkway to the purple line and southward exits to the San Vicente/Fairfax intersection.

      A La Brea station box would probably be on the north side of Wilshire rather than the south side. given the street geometries of La Brea south of wilshire, it would be easier and cheaper to build on the north side.

      A La Cienega (actually San Vicente / Wilshire) could go on the north or the south side, the north side has no tree removal nor adjacent residential, so may encounter less pushback from the locals to put it on the north side. Since the purple line station box stretches the length of the distance between La Cienega and San Vicente (it’s the only purple line station box that doesn’t bisect the intersection, it’s entirely on the eastern side of the intersection), the platform is relatively close and it would again entail a transfer portal.

  3. Great to see the progress! Do you know what the closest station will be to the new Rams Stadium? And, do you have an estimate as to how far the walk would be from the station to the stadium?

    • I think initially open and then later covered.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

    • Hey Neal. There’s still a lot of work to do — maintenance yard, etc. — and then a lot of testing, as per usual. At this time, fall 2019 remains the forecasted opening. I’ve seen several of these projects come together in the last 15 years and it’s funny how one day they look like a big pile of dirt and the next they look like a rail line!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source