Metro Releases Five Alternatives for Crenshaw Northern Extension

Map of Metro's proposed Crenshaw North alternatives. Image via Metro
Map of Metro's proposed Crenshaw North alternatives. Image via Metro

Note: Metropolitan Shuttle, a leader in bus shuttle rentals, regularly sponsors coverage on Streetsblog San Francisco and Streetsblog Los Angeles. Unless noted in the story, Metropolitan Shuttle is not consulted for the content or editorial direction of the sponsored content.

As part of a board report slated to be received and filed at this week’s board meeting, Metro has released five preliminary alignments for extending the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line north of the Expo Line.

The 8.5-mile $2 billion Crenshaw/LAX Line is currently under construction. As of last week, the line was 82 percent complete, with sections of the project (especially near LAX) looking nearly done with rail on the ground and overhead catenary wires complete. Unfortunately the project is falling somewhat behind schedule for what was planned to be its October 2019 opening. Metro staff recently approved an $8 million change order to, in the words of Metro construction chief Richard Clarke, “stop the bleeding” on schedule slippage. Also under debate is how the new Crenshaw Line will operate, and how this will impact existing Metro Green Line service.

Nonetheless, Crenshaw is nearly there and should open soon.

Sometime thereafter the line will be extended northward of its terminus at the Metro Expo Line. The project will be light rail, and will most likely be entirely grade separated, either a subway or elevated.

All five alternatives (see map above) would continue north on the Crenshaw Boulevard corridor. Four branch west onto the San Vicente Boulevard corridor, connecting with the Metro Red Line at Hollywood/Highland. The other would branch east from Crenshaw along Olympic Boulevard, then north to connect to the Red and Purple Lines at Wilshire/Vermont.

The five proposed Crenshaw Northern Extension alternatives include:

  • San Vicente – 9.2 miles, $4.3 billion
  • La Cienega – 8.5 miles,$4.4 billion
  • Fairfax – 8.1 miles, $4.7 billion
  • La Brea – 6.5 miles, $3.0 billion
  • Vermont – 4.8 miles, $3.6 billion

Communities north of Expo, especially the city of West Hollywood, have pushed to extend Crenshaw north. The northern extension had $2.2 billion in funding included in Metro’s voter-approved Measure M expenditure plan, but that plan slates construction to start in 2041, with the line to open in 2047.

These dates could be accelerated if new funding were available. The short-term transit funding situation in Washington and Sacramento does not look very promising, though voters could change that for better or worse. (WeHoans Against Gas Tax Repeal, anyone?)

CrenshawNorthcostgraph
Metro Crenshaw Line cost chart – image via Metro staff presentation

The $2.2 billion in the Measure M plan keeps pace with inflation, so it has now inflated to $2.33 billion. According to Metro’s preliminary analysis, though, this is no longer enough to build any of the alternatives under consideration. So, if current costs and cost estimates hold (and they tend to only go up), Metro will need to seek additional funding whether the project is accelerated or not.

Crenshaw North alternatives preliminary performance - per Metro staff presentation
Crenshaw North alternatives preliminary performance – per Metro staff presentation

For more detail on each of the alternatives, see Urbanize or the staff report.

Metro will continue to work with stakeholder cities and communities to further refine this project. There are many more steps ahead, so stay tuned to Streetsblog L.A. for updates.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Community Update:Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail in Inglewood

|
Metro to Update Community on Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Light Rail Project The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will host an Open House on July 19 to update the public on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project. Metro staff will provide information to the community on the project alignment, station locations, maintenance facility site, environmental […]

Metro: Community Meetings on Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor

|
METRO TO HOLD SIX COMMUNITY MEETINGS TO UPDATE PUBLIC ON CRENSHAW/ LAX TRANSIT CORRIDOR Public Invited to attend October/November 2010 Station Area Planning Workshops/ Project Update Meetings throughout Crenshaw, Inglewood & Westchester What: The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will conduct six Station Area Planning Workshops/ Project Update Meetings open to the public […]

Metro: Quarterly Meeting of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project Community Leadership Council

|
Please join your neighbors, local business owners and community leaders for the Quarterly  Meeting of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project Community Leadership Council  (CLC). Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. First Church of God…Center of Hope 9550 Crenshaw Boulevard Inglewood, CA 90305 Learn the latest details of our community’s 8.5 mile […]

Metro Round-Up: LAX, Open Streets, New Reps on Technical Committee

|
At yesterday’s Metro Board Meeting, directors approved a handful of initiatives that have great implications for the future livability of the Los Angeles Region. Here is the re-cap: Technical Committee Adds Pedestrian and Bike Representatives The Metro Board approved adding two new active transportation representatives to the agency’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). In addition to […]