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Crenshaw Line Has Broken Ground, Will Have Underground Stations and Crenshaw Plaza Access

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Robert Ball, the project manager for the Crenshaw Line light rail project, stopped by a recent meeting of the Transit Coalition advocacy group and, according to their newsletter, had lots of juicy details on the project, which will connect the Green Line to the Expo Line (and hopefully get riders to LAX, likely via a people mover). The biggest news was that a contractor has already been hired to build the line, and a ceremonial groundbreaking was held June 4 (who knew?). The eight and a half mile line should be relatively speedy, as Ball said it was 55 percent grade-separated, meaning it runs above or below the street. Because of pressure from Los Angeles World Airports (which operates LAX) and the FAA, the train will run in a trench near the airport, and then mostly travel along the Harbor Subdivision railroad right-of-way. Ball also noted that the first Inglewood station will be a subway stop and will be built east of La Brea, since the Inglewood fault runs right under the boulevard.

On its way to the Expo Line, the train will pass right by the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. "Mall officials approached Metro, asking to place an entrance on the west side of the street instead of on the east side," according to the Transit Coalition's Numan Parada. "The station would feature a design that is related to the historic shopping center building that currently houses a Walmart." The mall currently has no pedestrian entrance on Crenshaw, but operators of the plaza agreed to build one so transit riders can more easily drop some cash.

The line's terminus will be a subway station below the at-grade Expo Line Crenshaw station; "the below-grade option would allow for a future extension of the line towards Hollywood, according to Ball." All the Crenshaw Line's underground and elevated stations will feature escalators, Ball noted, which is a change from Expo's "el" stations, which only have stairs and elevators.

The Transit Coalition newsletter doesn't mention anything about a station in the heart of Leimert Village--the community has clamored for one, and Metro said it would only be built if the contractor can build one within the project's $1.75 billion budget. There's also no news about the status of the lawsuit against the line, which alleges CEQA abuses for an at-grade portion of the train in Park Mesa Heights.
· Crenshaw Line Archives [Curbed LA]