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Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line opening delayed to 2020

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The light rail route was scheduled to open next year

Construction crews work on tracks of the Crenshaw Line.
Liz Kuball

One of LA’s most anticipated new train lines will open a little later than expected.

Metro officials confirmed Thursday that the Crenshaw/LAX Line won’t start carrying riders until the summer of 2020. It had been scheduled to begin service in fall 2019.

Metro’s chief program management officer, Richard Clarke, told the agency’s construction committee in September that the contractor building the project, Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors, was running months behind schedule.

Construction of the tracks and structures supporting them is moving along, but Clarke said that electric work is taking longer than expected.

A report from staffers presented to the committee Thursday sheds a little more light on the delay. It indicates that the project is 87.5 percent complete and that the agency is working with Walsh/Shea to speed things up.

Metro spokesperson Jose Ubaldo says that construction is expected to wrap up in December 2019. After that, safety testing and training for light rail operators will take place, lasting four to six months.

Major construction on the project started in 2014.

When it does open to the public, the 8.5-mile train line will travel from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards down through Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, and Inglewood—meeting up with the Green Line south of LAX.

Eventually, riders will be able to get on and off at a station now under construction at 96th Street, where they can transfer to or from a people mover system serving the airport.

The line is also scheduled to be extended into the West Hollywood area by 2047, though local officials are working to speed up that timeline.