Orange County Branch Newsletter

February 2013

Transportation Technical Group

Metro Presentation by Robert Ball - Crenshaw / LAX Transit Corridor Light Rail

By Adrian Anderson, P.E., TTG Secretary

On February 4, 2013, Mr. Robert “Rob” Ball, Deputy Executive Director – Metro, provided an informative and interesting presentation to the ASCE Transportation Technical Group on the estimated $1.76B Crenshaw / LAX Transit Corridor light rail project.  The Metro Board will be awarding the Design-Build contract soon.  The 8.5 mile light rail project is being funded in part by Measure R and Federal funds and fills the regional transit network gap by extending the existing Metro Exposition Line at Crenshaw Blvd and Exposition Blvd to the existing Metro Green Line’s Aviation/LAX Station with six (6) stations, two (2) station bid options, and a Southwestern Yard that will service multiple lines.

The benefits of the project include economic development and employment opportunities, future development opportunities within ½ mile of stations, easy transit rider connections to Green Line, Expo Line, and bus lines to the Crenshaw/LAX Line, and new connection opportunities to downtown LA, West LA, Norwalk, El Segundo, and LAX airport area.  One interesting design issue was with the proposed light rail vehicles at grade through the LAX airport runway protection zone (run-off at end of runways) where discussions by FAA and FTA were going to require a tunnel, which would have been much more costly than the current design compromise of a cut-and-cover trench with decks designed for airplane loading at each of the runway approaches.

Mr. Ball also highlighted station, Southwestern Yard, and other improvement renderings; alignment overviews and features; future automated people mover (APM) connections; at-grade cross sections; the Alternative Technical Concepts process and station bid options; station siting process and challenges; advance utility relocation contract (Metro’s 1st contract with PLA/CCP, awarded May 31, 2012); and other project challenges (such as tunneling in the built environment and limiting impacts to historic palm trees).

The Metro Board approved the FEIS/FEIR in September 2011, the RFP for the Design-Build contract was released in June 2012, proposals were received in December 2012, and the Design-Build contract award is anticipated in May 2013.  To learn more about the project, call 213-922-2736, email, or visit the project web site at