The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors has moved several major capital projects forward this month, including the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project, the Crenshaw Northern Extension and other transit projects that will transform mobility options in L.A. County.
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project
The Metro Board on Aug. 31 approved a $48.3-million contract with HNTB Corporation, Terry A. Hayes Associates Inc. and AECOM Technical Services to perform the environmental studies and advanced conceptual engineering for the Sepulveda Transit Corridor project, which will build a high-speed, high-capacity transit line connecting the San Fernando Valley, Westside and LAX. Metro will begin environmental review in 2021.
The project has also been identified as a candidate for possible delivery through a Public-Private Partnership (P3). Metro has received strong private industry interest via a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) to build the project. The agency will select up to two PDA teams to help with project planning and design and propose transit solutions. PDA concepts will be refined and evaluated during the environmental review phase. Metro staff will return with a PDA recommendation to the Metro Board of Directors in early 2021.
The project would be built in one of the most heavily traveled urban corridors in the nation, and when finished will connect existing and planned Metro bus and rail lines, including the future East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project, G Line (Orange), the future Metro D Line (Purple) Extension and the Metro E Line (Expo).
The Crenshaw Northern Extension
The Metro Board also approved advancing three possible routes for the Crenshaw Northern Extension (CNE) project as well as a $50.3-million contract for environmental analysis, which is expected to begin later this year.
The three routes to be studied would follow busy travel corridors, serve major destinations and employment centers and intersect with five of the busiest bus routes in the region. The routes would follow parts of San Vicente Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue or La Brea Avenue.
The Crenshaw Northern Extension will extend the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line north to the D Line (Purple) subway on Wilshire Boulevard and then continue to the B Line (Red) subway in Hollywood. The Crenshaw/LAX Line is currently under construction and will run between the C Line (Green) and the E Line (Expo) when it opens in 2021. The Measure M spending plan approved by voters in 2016 provides about $2.2 billion for the Crenshaw Northern Extension project, although early cost estimates show that projected costs could be significantly more due to the expected tunneling likely to be needed.
Under the Measure M schedule, the project is slated to begin construction in 2041 and begin service in 2047. Metro, in partnership with the city of West Hollywood and the city of Los Angeles, is advancing the planning work to potentially accelerate the project.
Purple Line Extension Project
The Metro Board has amended the Purple Line Extension Section 1 budget from $2.77 billion to $2.97 billion to cover differing site conditions and additional third-party and safety requirements. Unused project funds from the Expo Line project — which was completed in 2016 — will be used to address these changes.
All three sections of the subway project are currently under construction: Section 1 is 63 percent complete; Section 2 is 33 percent complete and Section 3 is 13 percent complete. When done, the Purple Line will provide fast, frequent and reliable subway service between downtown L.A. and West Los Angeles.
I-5 North HOV and Truck Lane Enhancement Project
The Metro Board of Directors approved and authorized Metro’s CEO to negotiate a 5-year, $50 million contract with Hill International, Inc., to provide construction management oversight for I-5 North HOV and truck lane enhancements. Metro is working to make capacity and safety enhancements to the I-5 in Santa Clarita between the SR-14 and the Parker Road interchanges. That will include nearly 14 miles of median improvements to add an HOV lane in each direction from north of SR-14 to just south of the Parker Road interchange. The project also includes technology improvements such as count stations, traffic cameras and ramp metering. The project is being designed to ease congestion and improve traffic flow.
High Desert Intercity Rail Corridor
The Metro Board also approved a life of project budget of $5 million for a High Desert Intercity Rail Corridor Service Development Plan to study a high-speed rail between the Antelope Valley and the Victor Valley. The privately built rail line would follow the path of the proposed High Desert Corridor and would connect to a proposed private high-speed rail line — that would connect the Victor Valley to Las Vegas.