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Green Line Extension

Metro Looks to Approve Torrance C Line Extension Alignment

Selecting the relatively low-cost hybrid alternative should help the oft-delayed South Bay C Line extension move a step closer to reality

Metro is looking to approve a partially elevated C Line extension alignment. Project rendering from Metro video

Tomorrow, the Metro board Planning and Programming Committee looks to approve a plan for the C Line light rail extension from Redondo Beach to Torrance. The proposal [staff report] selects a relatively cost-effective alignment running in existing Metro-owned rail right-of-way that currently carries infrequent freight train traffic.

Metro's C Line Extension project would extend about four miles in and along the South Bay cities of Lawndale, Redondo Beach, and Torrance. The project is included in the voter-approved Measure M sales tax plan. Though polling shows regional support for the extension, it has encountered significant resistance from some locals, including neighbors along the right-of-way and some governmental leaders.

Early on, Metro had proposed the extension run at grade (as current freight traffic operates) with limited aerial stretches. Metro also studied more costly alternatives that would run in a trench, or (as the opposition urges) run somewhere else - namely along the 405 Freeway and Hawthorne Bouelvard.

Metro slide showing South Bay C (former Green) Line extension alternatives

This week, the board will vote on approving a "Locally Preferred Alternative" that has been termed the "Hybrid" alternative; it's a hybrid of the original mostly at-grade version, with two short trench sections.

As shown in the above image, the selected hybrid alternative cost is relatively low ($2.2 billion) compared to a full trench ($2.8 billion) or Hawthorne Boulevard ($3 billion). The hybrid costs more than Metro's mostly at-grade alignment ($1.9 billion); for that added cost, it adds two grade separations, which improve safety, travel time, and reliability.

Metro slide explaining Hybrid Alternative - via this week's presentation
Screengrab showing elevated portion of northern end of planned Metro C Line Extension, in existing rail right-of-way, preserving freight rail tracks, and formalizing a footpath already in use. Image via 2023 Metro video

Some neighbors will likely continue to express opposition, but selecting the sensible cost-effective hybrid alternative should help this oft-delayed rail extension move a step closer to reality.

Post modified 4/17 - added Metro presentation slide

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