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Regional Connector May Open in Phases With Santa Monica-to-East LA Service First

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It may feel like the Regional Connector, the two-mile light rail tunnel that will connect the Expo, Blue, and Gold lines with three new stations, is already under-construction in Downtown, but it's really only pre-construction activities, like moving underground utilities. Metro is just now on the verge of awarding a nearly $1 billion contract for full-on work to Skanska/Traylor Bros—Skanska is working on the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica, which is moving really fast—according to a Metro construction committee memo (via the Transit Coalition boards). The memo also includes a few juicy tidbits: the project must be finished by September 2020, but could open in phases, with the east-west line opening first (direct service from Santa Monica to East LA), before the north-south line (direct service from Long Beach to Azusa).

Also of note: a second entrance to the Second/Broadway subway station was floated but ultimately canned, because the LA Times's parent company is planning a future development at the site. The contract also fails to set aside money for an upper-level elevator entrance and pedestrian bridge at the Second/Hope station (near The Broad art museum and Disney Hall) because "it is for a betterment to be funded by the community at award and the community has not confirmed that the funding is available." Kind of disappointing that The Broad hasn't committed to ponying up on this yet.
· Downtown Connector EIS/EIR [Transit Coalition]
· Regional Connector [Curbed LA]