The Expo Construction Authority Board on Friday approved a $541.7 million design/build contract with Skanska/Rados and a funding agreement with Metro, meaning construction can start on the second phase of the Expo light-rail, from Culver City to Santa Monica, reports The Source. While this was sort of a formality, it was a big deal to supporters of the line as Cheviot Hills homeowners sued to have the line put underground, which would have delayed construction or killed it entirely had their suit been successful (they're vowing to appeal, says Streetsblog). The construction board also decided on two big questions related to the line: will the Westwood station have parking and will the Sepulveda stop be an "El"-like above-ground station?
The Westwood stop will not have a separate commuter parking lot, the Board decided. The no-parking option, supported by local transit groups, will still create a short-term "kiss n' ride" parking area, where passengers can be dropped off and picked up, according to Streetsblog. There will also be about 20 spots for locals, who will lose a bit of street parking when the station is built. Avoiding the parking lot also leaves room for space, like a park or retail amenities (though the latter doesn't seem too likely considering this area is the epicenter of anti-Expo fervor).
The Board said yes to a grade-separated overground station like the ones at La Brea, La Cienega, and Culver Junction. The city council agreed to pay the extra $5.3 million that it'll take to bring the track and stop overground. No word on whether this decision will have an effect on that big Casden Target project proposed for next to the station.
· Expo Line Phase II Construction is a Go [The Source]
· Expo Light Rail Decision Final [Curbed LA]