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Expo to Santa Monica Gets Go Ahead, Construction Coming

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It's the best of times and worst of times for LA transit this week. Chalk this one up as a "best": last night the Expo Line Construction Authority Board certified the environmental impact report for the rail line's extension into Santa Monica, enabling design to commence, and construction to begin later this year (by the end of the year, construction should be going on for both segments of the Expo Line, and extensions of both the Gold and Orange lines). Streetsblog reported from Twitter that there were complaints about safety and "quality of life" issues from a group called Neighbors for Smart Rail, who are threatening a lawsuit if most of the line isn't put underground. The Los Angeles Times has a quote from Expo Authority CEO Richard Thorpe saying some of the problems like delays and cost overruns that plagued the line's first half--from downtown to Culver City--will hopefully be avoided by having one company in charge of both the design and the construction of the line. The seven-mile phase II should open in 2014/15, feature seven stops, and cost about $1.5 billion, of which Measure R will mostly cover.
· Streetsblog [Twitter]
· Officials Approve Expo to Santa Monica [LA Times]