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The Expo Line Extension Could Open a Year Early

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Metro has been holding community meetings for a 10-year planning document known as the 2014 Short Range Transportation Plan, which, among many other things, notes openings for the five rail lines now under construction. It was pretty shocking to see the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica listed as opening in December 2016 when Metro has long discussed a late 2015/early 2016 date. Metro is likely holding on to that late '16 date as a contingency (and under-promising, with hopes of over-delivering) in case something goes wrong construction-wise (as it did with the line's first phase to Culver City, which was repeatedly delayed). But according to an Expo Line Construction Authority community meeting this week in Santa Monica, things are full-steam ahead (the construction authority is a separate entity from Metro) and the project is about 60 percent complete; the elevated bridges that line the route are just about wrapped.

All seven stations are now under construction, including the big downtown Santa Monica stop. While the three Santa Monica stations still look embryonic, the Bergamot and Santa Monica College stations will eventually have canopies and start looking sort of like rail stations this summer (downtown SaMo will start looking real at the end of the year). The construction authority is in the midst of adding track on Colorado Avenue, currently across the busy Lincoln Boulevard intersection, and starting work on the adjacent bikeway.

The authority now estimates that pre-revenue operations, the last step before opening, will start some time in 2015.
· Expo Line Extension [Curbed LA]