LA Metro breaks ground on Phase 2 of Expo Line

first_imgThe Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke ground Monday at the Santa Monica station for the start of construction on Phase 2 of the Expo Line, a mass-transit project that will connect Culver City to Santa Monica.Groundbreaking · Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and Culver City Mayor Michael O’Leary attended the ceremony Monday. – Courtesy of John HayesMost of the track will go along Exposition Boulevard with two stations near the USC campus, one at Exposition Boulevard and USC and one at Jefferson Boulevard and USC.Construction began for Phase 2 of the Expo Line, although the completion of Phase 1 has been delayed because of budgetary problems and issues that arose while testing the tracks.Phase 1 of the Expo Line, which has been under construction since 2006 and will offer service from Seventh and Figueroa Streets to Culver City, was scheduled to begin service by November 2011. The opening date has been pushed back, however, to the end of this year or the beginning of 2012, said Samantha Bricker, chief operating officer of the Expo Line Construction Authority.With many worrying about the completion of the Expo Line, Bricker that the authority will handle Phase 2 of the construction differently than Phase 1.“We actually have a different situation for Phase 2,” Bricker said. “We now have a fixed price contract for Phase 2 … and a different contractor … we feel very good about the contractor. They have locked in the price for construction and design.”Bricker said Phase 2 would be completed by 2015. This came as a disappointment to many students who were looking forward to riding the Expo Line to Santa Monica and other popular locations.“The extension will make [transportation] much easier for [students],” said Michelle Kim, a freshman majoring in political science. “I am pretty confident that students will use [the Expo Line] to explore the area and specifically the Santa Monica area.”Upperclassmen are also disappointed because they will most likely not have the opportunity to utilize the Expo Line while attending USC.“I feel that a lot of students are frustrated,” said Abigail Grabow, a junior majoring in occupational therapy and psychology. “Our public transportation is a bus and it takes forever, so no one goes to Santa Monica often. Having the line open would make traveling to other places easier.”The opening of the Expo Line will allow students to easily travel to Downtown Los Angeles as well as to Santa Monica.Students also said they want more information on the Expo Line so they can be updated on the completion of construction and locations the line will service.LA Metro began releasing test results for the Expo Line this summer and intends to inform students about the services the Expo Line will offer when it opens, Bricker said.“We will be informing students and working with student affairs to help spread the word,” said David Galaviz, executive director of local government relations for the university. “It will be a combination of letting students know that the trains will be tested and when Metro will open the line so that there are no false expectations.”last_img

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