We heard yesterday that Metro is planning a late 2016 opening for the Expo Line light rail extension to Santa Monica (we also hear chatter that Metro is announcing a later date than actually anticipated to avoid disappointments if the line is delayed). Even as the state supreme court considers an environmental challenge to the extension--hearings were on May 7, with a decision expected in a few months--construction is moving swiftly, according to the Lookout. Crews will start laying track this summer, the construction manager says, while construction on the giant bridge over Olympic Boulevard will take another nine months to complete. Further west, Colorado Boulevard, where the train will travel directly on the street, has already been reduced to a two-lane street while the middle section is excavated so tracks can be laid. Regarding the Santa Monica terminus station at Fourth and Colorado (the present site is pictured), "We're going to start hitting this place pretty heavy," the construction manager says.
The two eastbound lanes of Colorado will be turned into a walkway for passengers exiting the train and connecting them with the forthcoming Esplanade; Colorado will be a one-way street, only traveling westbound, from the station to Ocean Avenue.
"Once the work is completed, the streets will be wider and the Expo Line should remove some of the traffic burden," officials told the Lookout.
· Expo Line Takes Shape in Santa Monica [Santa Monica Lookout]