Photos show train testing and construction on the southern section of the Crenshaw/LAX Line.
Metro today celebrated the success of its Business Solution Center, Business Interruption Fund and the Eat, Shop, Play construction mitigation programs, all of which have all helped local businesses survive during the prolonged construction period for the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line. The project’s first two construction segments are now substantially complete.
You can watch an archived stream above of the celebration held today at the future Martin Luther King Jr. Station — the event begins at the 1:56 mark after the video from Metro Art. Photos from today’s event are here.
Construction Mitigation Programs
The agency is officially closing out these successful pilot construction mitigation programs, which offered business resources, funding and promotion in support of small “mom & pop” businesses that were impacted by rail construction between 2014 and 2022.
Metro’s Business Solution Center has provided hands-on business development, support services and referrals to more than 300 small businesses in the Crenshaw and Inglewood communities.
Metro’s Business Interruption Fund has officially awarded more than $20.1 million to over 230 unique small “mom and pop” businesses along the project corridor.
Overall, Metro’s Business Interruption Fund has awarded more than $32.9 million to over 430 unique small businesses for transit rail construction projects, including Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project, Regional Connector, and all three sections of the Purple Line Extension Project.
The Metro Board of Directors authorized the agency to designate up to $10 million annually to be used for implementation of the fund. Businesses may file multiple requests for financial assistance through the fund. The amount paid cannot exceed $50,000 per impact year. Both the Business Solution Center and Business Interruption Fund were originally established by Metro’s Board in 2014.
Lastly, Metro’s Eat Shop Play Crenshaw pilot advertising and community engagement program is also concluding. Metro designed this program to promote and support small businesses impacted by rail construction. More than 150 businesses located along the project corridor partnered with Metro to receive free business marketing assistance. Marketing services included print/digital ads on Metro’s bus and rail system, social media and email marketing.
Metro also marked substantial completion for the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project between the C Line (Green) and 48th Street in Inglewood. A third and final section between 48th Street and E Line (Expo) is anticipated to be substantially complete in the coming months.
Metro’s contractor, Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors, has now completed its intensive system integration testing to validate the proper operation of all equipment and systems, including train control signals, underground station and tunnel ventilation, radio systems, back-up power, fire and smoke alarms and electricity to trains and stations, among others.
Metro will begin its own a five-to-six-month testing period for the new rail line. It began training Metro operations and maintenance staff in preparation for the line’s future public opening in late summer 2022. An exact opening date has not yet been selected.
Due to ongoing construction of a new Airport Metro Connector Station at Aviation Boulevard/96th Street, the Crenshaw/LAX Line is anticipated to open seven stations, operating between Expo/Crenshaw and Westchester/Veterans stations. A bus bridge will link the Crenshaw/LAX Line at Westchester/Veterans Station to the C Line (Green) at Aviation/LAX Station. The new Aviation/Century Station will not be served by trains until full line operations begin (expected in second half of 2023) once the Airport Metro Connector Station platform structure has been completed. The Airport Metro Connector station is anticipated to be ready for service in the second half of 2024.
“These construction mitigation programs have been critical for many of local small business owners, giving them much-needed relief and financial support as a result of years of construction in their neighborhoods,” said Metro Board Chair and LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, representing the First District. “We know these small businesses will emerge stronger with a helping hand from Metro and continue to thrive as this new rail line brings more customers to their doorsteps in the years ahead.”
“Metro’s commitment to partner with local businesses on the Crenshaw Corridor, helping them to stay afloat, lead to the creation of the BIF and BSC. These two construction mitigation programs are important to support the economic viability for this equity focused community,” said Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Metro Board Member. “As a resident and stakeholder i am proud to see LA Metro provide this level of engagement in our region.”
“The Crenshaw/LAX Line is integral to L.A.’s transportation future – and today’s milestone is proof of our extraordinary progress,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “We’ve promised Angelenos a state-of-the-art transit system in South L.A. for years, and today, we want to thank our residents and businesses for their perseverance and support – and proudly share that in just a few months, we’ll open up a new train that will ease congestion, improve public health, and connect their communities with the rest of our rapidly expanding transit network.”
“The Crenshaw/LAX light rail line has been a decades-long community driven project. I remember years ago, as a staffer for then State Senator Diane Watson, hearing about visions of a transit line that would run down Crenshaw Blvd. and through the heart of my neighborhood of Leimert Park. This line is a testament to the vision and legacy of South Los Angeles leaders who fought for this investment in our community,” said Metro Board Member and L.A. County Supervisor Holly Mitchell. “Our community has waited patiently for us to get here, and I am proud that we are delivering on our promise of a world class transit line that will provide tremendous mobility benefits to the Crenshaw Corridor and Inglewood communities.”
“This project will be transformational for Los Angeles County, particularly for South Los Angeles and Inglewood as we strive to deliver a safe and reliable transit option through these diverse communities,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “Construction of the Crenshaw/LAX line has been a very complex undertaking featuring many unique features that include every type of light rail elements including underground, at-grade, and aerial configurations, all designed to best serve these neighborhoods. We look forward to beginning the pre-revenue testing phase and the opening of this important infrastructure project that will provide tremendous mobility benefits to the community.”
About the Crenshaw/LAX Line
The Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project will bring 8.5-miles of new light rail extending service from Metro’s E Line (Expo) at the Expo/Crenshaw Station to Metro’s C Line (Green) at the Aviation/LAX Station. When in operation the new light rail line will have eight new stations serving the Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester, and LAX communities. Riders will have easier connections within the Metro Rail system, municipal bus lines, and other regional transportation services.
For more information on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project go to metro.net/Crenshaw or call the project hotline (213) 922-2736. You also join us on Facebook at @crenshawrail and on Twitter @crenshawrail.
Note to readers and editors: Metro Operators are crucial to keeping LA moving. Metro is currently hiring more than 500 bus operators and is offering a $3,000 bonus for coming aboard. This is a great career opportunity. Metro offers competitive hourly rates starting at $19.12 with benefits that include health insurance, tuition reimbursements, paid training, retirement plan options and flexible working hours. Please encourage friends, family and community members to become a part of the Metro team that provides excellence in service and support and keeps our region moving. Apply at metro.net/driveLA.
So why was there another 2 year delay if the Centinela overpass hasn’t even been built yet!!! Just don’t build it and turn Centinela into a dead end street, problem solved.
Why is this agency so Pathetic!?
Enough of the cheap stunts already. Built it right or don’t build it at all.
Tbh, I will NEVER take this for a departure…. Too much can go wrong. Maybe when I arrive home since time is less an issue, but even then. I dont want to hop off an 8+ hr flight and then deal with metro’s delays.
I will definitely use this locally however. I
What is Metro celebrating when this means nothing to people who actually ride Metro? Is this just to rub it in that this line is:
A) horribly constructed with defects Metro now has to fix
B) is over 3 years beyond the forecasted opening date,
C) when it opens, it won’t be the entire line to LAX
D) Metro will have to close the line soon after to build the Centinela bridge and finish the airport station
E) even when it’s done by 2024 (according to Metro) it will only be a stub line that ends at Crenshaw/Expo, with no service north to connect to Wilshire and the Purple Line or Red Line?
@SteveH. At this point, say no to the Centinela overpass and give the line signal prioritization as much as possible. Metro and Inglewood made the choice to not include it in the original plan and now want to SHUT THE NEW LINE FOR TWO YEARS soon after it opens to build one bridge really expensively that could have been built alot cheaper had it been included to begin with.
Signal prioritization and no Centinela bridge. Too late. Too wasteful.
It was gross to hold a celebration. Metro has nothing to celebrate here. For several years, in the face of inexplicable and inexcusable delays, the Metro staff and Board have simply shrugged their shoulders and said “what are you going to do?” and not offered any serious explanation. If the delay has to do with bad directives given by Metro, who is being held accountable? If the delay is on the contractors, why has Metro not made such delay extremely painful for them, such that they accelerate this project? It feels like a desire for Metro’s Board to go along and get along with influential companies and potential donors.
You have nothing to celebrate here. The people of LA County might, once we see some accountability at Gateway Plaza and among the contractors.
Who made the call to hold the Substantially Complete ceremony at one of the stations in the section that is *not yet* substantially completed? XD
ThIs project has been a mess for awhile. Who designs and builds a line only to have to interrupt its already delayed opening of the completed project for the LAX Transfer station and even worse, the Centinela bridge? Compare this to the Foothill Gold Line project team who seems to get segments built on time and under budget. Yes, I know, no subway segments on the Foothill Gold, but plenty of bridges (some very long), working along side of an active freight line, relocating that line, Metrolink lines and working with multiple cities, not just one city like LA.
Burying the lead – the portion from Leimert Park to Expo doesn’t open until later in 2023. And what about the Centinela overpass? Won’t that cause a “bus bridge” sometime in the first years of operation?
Hi LA Steve;
When the line opens — and officials said later this year at event yesterday — it will be between E Line and Westchester/Veterans Stations. The bus bridge will be between Westchester/Veterans and C Line due to work on the Airport Connector station. As for the Centinela overpass, that is still in the planning stages and no news at this time.
Editor, The Source
Thanks Steve. The LA Times article on this was unclear. Appreciate the clarification.
The LA Times article was unclear because, as you said, Metro buried the lead. There is nothing at the airport connector station that remotely affects the Crenshaw line. Complete deliberate obfuscation.