Earlier this morning, the California Public Utilities Commission gave Phase II of the Expo Line the green light to finish construction. With the California Supreme Court also ruling in Expo’s favor on August 5, both the legal and procedural roadblocks to Expo have been resolved in less than two weeks.
Expo Phase II is a 6.6 mile extension of the Expo Line from its current terminus in Culver City to near the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. When completed, the Expo Line will connect Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica via Downtown Culver City, a cool 15.3 mile light rail line.
The above video shows CPUC President Michael Peevey praising the Expo Construction Authority and the Expo Line after CPUC approved the line. h/t Gökhan Esirgen.
“I’m absolutely stoked that we now have a green light to finish this project,” writes Mike Bonin, a westside City Council Member who is also vice-chair of the Expo Construction Authority Board of Directors. “Like many other mass transit users in L.A., I am looking forward to being able to choose either bus or rail as I commute from the Westside, all of the way to downtown. We are nearing the 50% complete phase of the project and we are on schedule and within the budget. It’s great that we are getting more options to Go Metro!”
CPUC originally gave Expo the green light in November of last year. Neighbors for Smart Rail, a coalition of Westside home owner and community groups. asked for a second review arguing that CPUC didn’t follow its own rules set out by policy and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and that the Expo Construction Authority failed to study every intersection of the rail line.
“We appreciate the CPUC’s diligence in reviewing the crossings for the Expo Line. Today’s decision allows us to remain focused on completing the Expo Line in 2015 and bringing a new transit option to Los Angeles,” said Expo Construction Authority CEO Rick Thorpe.
Streetsblog has reached out to NFSR and supporters of the Expo Line for comment. We will update the story as the day if we hear anything.