Metro may have seen its Measure J rail-line-expediting initiative narrowly fail at the polls, but they did get some good news this week. The Downtown News reports that a judge, responding to two lawsuits against the Downtown Regional Connector project, refused to order a stop to construction on the 1.9-mile subway that will link the Blue, Gold, and Expo lines, allow transfer-less travel from Long Beach to Pasadena and Santa Monica to East LA, and add three new stations. The RC is being sued, like almost all transit projects in LA--in this case, Thomas Properties Group and the operator of the Westin Bonaventure hotel have slapped Metro with separate lawsuits and requested a halt on construction. TPG and the Bonaventure contend that Metro's method of tunneling under Flower Street, called the cut-and-cover method, will disrupt businesses; Metro disagrees and adds that it's the only feasible option. Early work, like utility relocation, is already in progress and the judge said a work stoppage would hurt the RC's chances for federal funds. Additionally, a decision on the lawsuits will come before big-time work on the RC starts next year, so, should the businessowners prevail, there'd be time to halt the cut-and-cover. The ruling is very good for Metro, which is waiting to hear whether work must stop on the Expo Line light rail to Santa Monica after a group of Westside homeowners requested an injunction.
· Judge Lets Work Continue on Regional Connector [Downtown News]
· First Renderings Revealed for Regional Connector Rail Stations [Curbed LA]