Work to modernize the Blue Line — Metro’s oldest and busiest light rail line — has been underway since 2014 as part of a $1.2-billion project we’re calling “The New Blue.” The idea is to bring the Blue Line up to the specs of Metro’s more recently-built rail lines and to make it faster and more reliable.
As part of that work, there will be extended closures of parts of the Blue Line beginning in early 2019. The southern half of the line will be closed while the northern half remains open and then the northern half will be closed while the southern half resumes train service.
A variety of bus shuttles will replace rail service during the closures, including express and local bus service. There will be an extensive public outreach campaign before the closures — the reason we’re announcing them so early.
The closures are designed to get this much-needed work done as quickly as possible and have it complete by October 2019 before the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens. The alternative would be repetitive closures on the Blue Line over two to three years.
There will also be an extended closure of the Blue Line’s Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station, which is being completely rebuilt with a new public plaza (including a Metro Customer Service Center), bike hub, transit court, brighter LED lighting and new bus bays. Please see the project home page for more information.
Work to be done on the Blue Line includes adding four new switches so that trains can move between tracks in more locations, signal system upgrades, improvements to the Washington-Flower junction of the Blue and Expo Line, overhead wire refurbishment, rail replacement in downtown Long Beach and power system upgrades, among other items.
The Blue Line opened in 1990 and carries more than 73,000 boardings on the average weekday, according to Metro’s ridership estimates and stretches for 22 miles between downtown Long Beach and downtown Los Angeles. A separate project, the Regional Connector, is under construction and will allow Blue Line and Expo Line trains to continue traveling beyond 7th/Metro Center and through downtown Los Angeles.
The closures were announced during the Metro Board’s System Safety, Security and Operations Committee on Thursday morning. I’ll post the link to the webcast after it’s published on to the Board’s agenda page on metro.net.