New Blue Improvements Project construction update

As many of you hopefully know by now, the Blue Line is in the midst of the New Blue Improvements Project, a comprehensive $350-million modernization to improve reliability, enhance safety and provide a better customer experience. The project is now in its ninth week.

Crews have been installing new rail and an updated overhead power system, and upgrading stations, along the southern half of the Blue Line. We’ve also installed new train control bungalows, removed and replaced underground conduits for electrical utility, and performed general maintenance at closed stations. The station area upgrades include deep power washing, painting, upgrades to the signage and installation of new digital customer information kiosks. 

Construction has been focused on replacing at-grade rail crossings along all intersections of the Blue Line between 1st Street at Downtown Long Beach Station and Willow Street at Willow Station. 

As a reminder, during the south closure of the Blue Line Metro is running three levels of shuttle service to help riders travel between Downtown Long Beach and 103rd Street/Watts Towers Station.

A few other key dates to keep in mind as the project progresses:

• June through September 2019: Rail service will be suspended from the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks to 7th St/Metro Center and replaced by bus shuttles. The Blue Line will continue running between Compton Station and Downtown Long Beach Station. Red and Purple Line service will operate normally at 7th St/Metro Center. We’ll have more details about the bus shuttles as we get closer to May.

• Expo Line trains will not be running between 7th/Metro, Pico and LATTC/Ortho Institute Station. Expo Line trains will continue to run between LATTC/Ortho Institute Station and Downtown Santa Monica. We will have exact date and time as we get closer to the northern closure.

• Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station will be closed for all eight months — until September. That will allow the station to be rebuilt with more capacity, a new customer service center and community plaza, easier connections to local buses and surrounding communities and upgrades to safety and security systems. During the closure, Green Line service will operate normally at Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station.

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9 replies

  1. I never sated it was narrow gauge. what I did say it was not standard gauge. That is why the new cars can not run on the Blue Line. The tracks were well over thirty years old and had more frequent use with several lines on the same right of way when they were built by the Pacific Electric.

    • The new Kinkisharyo light rail cars have been running on the Blue Line for a while now.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Can Metro please provide some relief for the Silver Line? Blue Line riders have made riding the Silver Line unbearable. Suggestion; how about the express shuttle make stops on the 110 Freeway? (Rosecrans, Manchester, Slauson and USC) I understand the double buses may not be able to turn out of the Green Line station. Please, please, please, do something!

  3. Rail does not wear out in twenty years. What I assume they are doing is converting the line to standard gauge which it should have been built in the first place. But when you have armatures you get a Mickey Mouse Light Rail system.

    • The Metro Blue Line is nearly 30 years old, not twenty, and all LAMTA tracks are standard gauge. The last narrow gauge trains were removed in 1963 (Los Angeles Railway) Rail does wear out, as to many other parts, with the heavy use the line has had.

    • Blue Line has always been standard guage as has the rest of the system. How do you think that cars that run on the Blue Line can also run on the Expo Line?

      Also, the Blue Line is 30 years old

  4. Will the OCS between Willow and Dt. Long Beach have a messager wire like the rest of the routes on their streetrunning segments? If so, would the unique arms holding the wires remain or are they going to be replaced with standard cantenary poles (or even have a new unique design)?