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Contractors Clamoring to Build Transit Tunnel Under the 405

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The plan to have a private contractor finance and build a rapid-transit connection between the Valley and the Westside via the Sepulveda Pass is further along than most people realized, the Daily News reports. It was only at Metro's board meeting this month that a motion passed to further study a private/public partnership to construct either a bus-only lane, an underground rail tunnel, or a subway/freeway combination--private entities would make back their money by collecting tolls or fares. A car/train tunnel would be a wallet-buster to the tune of $10 billion, but approximately half a dozen companies have already contacted Metro to indicate their interest in helping build it. "[Metro's Roger] Moliere added there are only about four to six private entities worldwide that are capable of taking on a project this size, and all of them have reached out to Metro." The transit agency will only have $1 billion for the project and not for many years, but Moliere believes a private entity could "accelerate the project by 30 years." With a tunnel, drivers will be charged tolls to use the faster underground option--Moliere says the fees wouldn't be that substantial since so many use the 405--while transit riders would pay fares as they do currently.
· Tunnel beneath Sepulveda Pass or widen 405 Freeway? It could happen quicker with private money [Daily News]
· Toll Lanes Could Help Fund the 405 Transit Corridor Project [Curbed LA]