Expo Line light rail's second phase officially broke ground this morning. Phase II adds a 6.6 mile extension--to Santa Monica--to the 8.6 mile Downtown to Culver City line. The event today at Fourth and Colorado in Santa Monica was strangely kept quiet, so we thought we'd tide you over with photos of the La Cienega station (and one of La Brea) from Phase I. The LA Times has a story quoting officials who say construction of the extension to Santa Monica should go much smoother than it did on Phase 1. That part of the line has been plagued by cost overruns (new stations, homeowner lawsuits) and delays (it was originally supposed to open in 2010). The Expo Authority says they're working with different contractors for Phase II and that they've learned from the mistakes of Phase I.
So, when can you actually take a train from Downtown to Culver City? No one really knows yet. The line was supposed to open to La Cienega in November, and now that's been pushed back by issues that have come up during testing. Expo officials are now saying the train will open to La Cienega by the end of 2011, and to Culver City in "early 2012." The entire line will cost close to $2.5 billion when all is said and done, but Metro officials think it will be one of the most popular light rail lines in the nation.
· Expo Line Starting Work on Second Phase [LA Times]
· Expo Line Archives [Curbed LA]