Metro representatives, joined by the mayor, this morning gave the media a tour of the four mile Orange Line extension to Chatsworth, which is under budget and ahead of schedule. Running on an exclusive right-of-way, the busway is 80 percent complete and should open in June, along with an adjacent bike and pedestrian path. Three new bridges were constructed for the project, along with four new stations and a reconstructed Canoga stop. Cool fact: "materials" from the 405 widening are being recycled and used to pave the busway, according to a press release at The Source. When completed, the Orange Line will connect the Chatsworth Metrolink/Amtrak station with the North Hollywood subway stop.
The $215.56 million was supposed to be paid for with Measure R funds (the half-cent sales tax increase that helps pay for transportation projects), but Metro was able to get state funding, so about $182 million (the final price for the project) can now be used for other Valley transportation projects, likely bus-only lanes on major boulevards.
At today's event, the mayor was asked about the long-delayed Expo Line and he said it was opening "soon." Metro confirms to us that today was the first day of pre-revenue service, the final (really) last step before the light rail opens.
· Orange Line Extension Progresses to June Opening [The Source]
· Orange Line Extension Will Be Earlier, Cheaper Than Expected [Curbed LA]