Phil Washington Announces Metro’s “Operation Shovel Ready” Initiative

Metro Operation Shovel Ready Transit Projects map - including rail, bus, and bike projects
Metro Operation Shovel Ready Transit Projects map – including rail, bus, and bike projects

Does Phil Washington know something we don’t?

Well, I am sure he knows a lot of things I don’t know about. In any case, last week CEO Phil Washington announced Metro’s “Operation Shovel Ready.” According to the January 27 board communication [PDF], this initiative will bring “projects to a ‘shovel-ready’ state” to allow Metro “to take advantage of potential opportunities that may develop.” Getting these projects from the preliminary plan stage to the ready-to-build stage “does not necessarily mean that they will all move into the construction stage” but if there is another, perhaps, federal stimulus package, it’s good to have ready-to-go projects lying around just in case. Perhaps Washington is anticipating that a new president or an ambitious governor could again turn to transportation investments to stimulate the economy. We’ll see.

The initiative includes two project lists. The first is transit projects, which is predominantly rail, but also includes some Bus Rapid Transit and bikeway projects. There is also, unfortunately, a long list of highway projects, mostly widening existing freeways and interchanges. Projects are broken out based on whether they have some measure R funding or not.

Many of these projects will be familiar to transportation watchers; some of them will require quite a bit of work, including environmental clearance, which could take several years.

The full Operation Shovel Ready project lists appear after the jump. 

TRANSIT PROJECTS (map at top of post)

Measure R funded (in part)

Non-Measure R

  • H – Vermont Avenue Bus Rapid Transit
  • I – North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit
  • J – Crenshaw Northern Extension
  • K – Orange Line Improvements
  • L – Green Line Extension to Norwalk Metrolink Station (L.A. Times)
  • M – Red/Purple Line Improvements
  • N – Rail to River Active Transportation Corridor (SBLA)
  • O – San Gabriel Valley Regional Greenway Network
  • P – L.A. River Bike Path
Metro Operation Shovel Ready Highway Projects map
Metro Operation Shovel Ready Highway Projects map

HIGHWAY PROJECTS

Measure R projects

  • A – 710 Freeway soundwalls
  • B – 710 Freeway interchanges improvements
  • C – 605 Freeway corridor arterial intersection improvements
  • D – 138 Freeway widening
  • E – 405 Freeway Crenshaw Boulevard ramp improvements
  • F – 138 Freeway local interchange improvements
  • G – 110 Freeway southbound auxiliary lane
  • H – 605 Freeway / 91 Freeway interchange improvements – westbound 91 Freeway widening
  • I – 605 Freeway / 60 Freeway interchange improvements
  • J – 605 Freeway / 5 Freeway interchange improvements
  • K – 710 Freeway / 91 Freeway interchange improvements
  • L – 5 Freeway HOV/HOT lanes

Non-Measure R projects

  • M – 71 Freeway widening (Mission to 10 Freeway)
  • N – 71 Freeway widening (60 Freeway to Mission)
  • O – 60 Freeway / 57 Freeway interchange
  • P – 605 Freeway / 10 Freeway interchange
  • Q – 101 Freeway northbound auxiliary lane
  • R – 138 Freeway improvements
  • S – 101 Freeway / 405 Freeway interchange improvements
  • Phantom Commuter

    There needs to be a regional rail element. Double track all Metrolink lines (shovel ready) and operate frequent service, including nights and weekends.

  • tim1724

    Where is the Gold Line extension to Montclair? That’s more “shovel-ready” than most of these. (ROW is already owned, station locations are already decided, the Final EIR has been approved, a locally preferred alternative has been selected, and the construction authority is halfway through its advanced conceptual engineering study.)

  • Very good question. Does anyone know why it is not on this list? Because it provides frequent, all-hours, links to the San Bernardino and Riverside County transit systems at Montclair.

  • J. SooHoo

    Let’s hope so! However, if you are talking about the same project that I am thinking of, there is a lot of work to be done to address the inadequacies of the DEIR/EIS as pointed out by EPA, SCAQMD, NRDC, etc., so its absence is probably more of a reflection of the definition of shovel ready.

  • Joe Linton

    The 710 tunnel is also missing.

  • Joseph E

    Metrolink, a multi-county system, is not owned or operated by Metro (Los Angeles County only), so that’s why one reason those projects are not on the list. Like you, I also believe that electrification, double-tracking, and adding infill stations on Metrolink could be hugely beneficial, along with frequent all-day service in both directions (eg: a train every 15 minutes all day, 6 am to 7 pm, and at least half-hourly trains from 5 am to 11 pm). But with how poorly Metrolink is currently funded and managed, such a dream is far from shovel-ready.

  • Joseph E

    Perhaps this shows that the Gold Line extension is a lower priority for Metro. The ridership projections for the Gold Line to Montclair are poorer than those for other rail potential rail lines, due to low density and the long distance to downtown Los Angeles.

  • unreal

    This is ridiculous. If you live in the South Bay, near the Green Line and you want to get to Culver City, not even Santa Monica, but Culver, you need to take the Green, to the Blue, DOWNTOWN, to the Expo, to get to Culver. 1 way? That’s 2.5 hours. Santa Monica? Let’s say 3 hours. WHO THE FUCK wants to sit on 6 hours of trains to get 8 miles North or South?

    This is insanity.

    The wealthy areas of the city have the luxury of funding this and see literally none of the benefits.

    What incentive do I have to care about Metro’s funding and/or operations when Metro does literally NOTHING for me?

    This is seriously ridiculous.

  • Irwin Chen

    It’s unreal that you don’t know the Crenshaw line is under construction.

  • unreal

    Which is EAST of the 405 and still DOES NOTHING to service people wanting to go North/South while living on the west side.

    Look at that map and tell me how the people of the South Bay benefit if they want to get to Santa Monica, by train, in under 2 hours. They don’t.

    The Crenshaw line does nothing for me or anyone else who lives where we do. Nothing.

  • Slexie

    What is the point? These are “shovel ready” but they don’t know if they will happen? Ummm…ok.

  • Mike

    The average speed of LA Metro is 17 miles an hour, at 8 miles long, it would take about 28 minutes to go from the green line aviation station to Crenshaw / Expo (when completed) From there you can transfer to Expo and take the line 2 stops (5 minutes) to culver… with headways of 7 minutes we can assume you just missed your connection and have to add 7 minutes before you board and before you transfer. Worst case scenario, it takes you 47 minutes to be in Culver or 65 minutes to be in Downtown Santa Monica. (when completed)

    That’s an hour commute, not wanting to gouge your eyes out on the 405 or Lincoln, a commute where you can comment on streetsblog posts or edit pictures of your cat until you’re blue in the face.

    Granted, I’d love to see dedicated rail or bus from Santa Monica to Palos Verdes and I abhor Lincoln blvd, I think this is a great alternative for those traveling N/S

  • antiqueshopper

    The 710 tunnelS, plural for two 4.5 mile tunnels, is as far away from shovel ready as any project could get. The reality is that 710 tunnels can never be built. The three cities that must give permission (Los Angeles, South Pasadena, Pasadena) all have formal resolutions against it and would never sign on.

    And, maybe the most important is that there is no remotely credible funding source or plan, and there never has been one. Add that the cost estimate in the DEIR of $5.65 Billion is half what it should be. SCAG estimated $11.8 Billion in 2007.

    Someone, Metro CEO Washington, has to be the “adult in the room” and act responsibly and just say no. It’s time to move on after 60 years of trying to build this highway that will never be built above, on nor below ground.

  • neroden

    “Perhaps Washington is anticipating that a new president or an ambitious
    governor could again turn to transportation investments to stimulate the
    economy. We’ll see.”

    This, or a new ballot measure. Yep. Worth being ready.

  • neroden

    Ah, but part of Metrolink IS owned by Metro. Well, the part of it within Los Angeles County is owned by Metro. Took me a while to figure out the structure here: the counties own the stations and tracks (except where UP and BNSF own the tracks).

  • I think the projections should probably be revisited. When combined with the forthcoming double-tracking of Metrolink and SANBAG’s efforts to improve station-area development along the San Bernardino Line, having a connection to and through the Foothill communities will be beneficial as I-/SR-210 is already crowded.

  • Why are SR-138 improvements on this list? Part of the reasoning behind the High Desert Corridor is that SR-138 improvements would not be sufficient to meet safety and capacity goals into the future. So since they already know that and are planning an alternative, why would they continue forward with a set of projects that will still be obsolete upon completion?

  • Well, the biggest Metrolink bottlenecks ultimately are all in LA County. Run-through tracks at LAUS will probably be the best upgrade, squarely in LA County. The single-track in the middle of the I-10 freeway that would be extremely costly to fix is in LA County, ditto for the single-track through Balwin Park and Covina where there’s physically no room to expand the tracks without taking out backyards. The LOSSAN corridor doesn’t have those same issues, but they have that scourge of NIMBYs in Northridge. The AV Line up the hill could also use some track enhancements, especially to smooth curves and increase speeds.

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