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Construction on Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line months behind schedule

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Will its fall 2019 opening be delayed?

Tracks for the Crenshaw Line on Crenshaw Boulevard.
Liz Kuball

Construction is lagging behind schedule on Los Angeles’s Crenshaw/LAX Line, and the new rail route may not open on time, according to Metro’s chief program management officer, Richard Clarke.

At a meeting of the Metro board’s construction committee Thursday, Clarke said that Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors, the firm tasked with building the 8.5-mile light rail line, is five months behind schedule on the project.

Metro aims to open the line to riders in fall of 2019.

Boardmember Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker pressed for details on the delays, including when the train is now expected to be up and running.

“I’m almost afraid to ask,” she said.

Clarke stressed that Metro is working with the contractor to figure out ways to speed up the project, but declined to provide a “finite date” for when riders can expect to be able to make use of the new transit route.

Extending from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards in the north (where riders can transfer to the Expo Line) to Aviation and Century boulevards in the south, the line will pass through the communities of Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, and Inglewood.

After the Aviation/Century stop, it will link up with the existing Green Line rail route, though which segment of the Green Line it will be connected to hasn’t yet been determined.

Clarke said Thursday that work on the Crenshaw/LAX Line is 86 percent complete, but that electrical work on the northern part of the line is proving to be much more time consuming than anticipated.

Metro is pushing Walsh/Shea to “increase the resources” on that part of the project, Clarke said.