Crenshaw/LAX Line Construction Hits Halfway Point

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The $2-billion Crenshaw/LAX Line that will ultimately take commuters straight to the airport is now halfway complete, prompting a community celebration at Leimert Park Village.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who chairs the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said residents affected by the construction project deserve a “thank you” for their patience during construction.

“The communities surrounding this Line have endured traffic, noise, dust and other nuisances over the past two years,” he said. “Their sacrifice has not been in vain, as we already have a lot to show for it.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Councilmen Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Herb Wesson with the tunnel boring machine beneath Crenshaw Blvd.

“The Crenshaw/LAX line is being built by local community members, and millions of dollars have been granted to local businesses,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas added.

Rep. Karen Bass, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council members Herb Wesson, Matt Bonin and Marqueece Harris-Dawson also attended the festivities.

Metro CEO Phillip Washington said hitting the halfway point of construction is a “huge milestone for the community, for Metro and for the County.”

“As a community, we must remain united in the goal of creating an infrastructure inheritance for our children,” he added. “We are building not only for today, but for their future and the next one hundred years.

Slated for completion in 2019, the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line will have eight stations, with the northernmost connecting to the Expo Line and the southernmost to the Green Line. It will serve passengers in the Crenshaw District, Leimert Park, Inglewood, Westchester, Los Angeles International Airport, and points in between.

Funded through Measure R, a half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008, the Crenshaw/LAX Line is projected to have a daily ridership of 13,000 to 16,000. It would be the first to serve the area since street cars – dubbed “Yellow Cars” – stopped running in the 1950’s.

To date, workers have excavated the rail line’s three underground stations beneath Exposition Boulevard. The tunnel boring machine, named Harriet after civil rights trailblazer Harriet Tubman, has begun drilling a path for trains underneath Crenshaw Boulevard.

Meanwhile, workers are busy building bridges that will span the 405 Freeway, La Brea Avenue, Manchester and Century Boulevards, and connect the Crenshaw/LAX Line to the Green Line. They are expected to begin installing railroad tracks later this year.

Harriet

The tunnel boring machine named “Harriet” beneath Crenshaw Boulevard