Using a route above, along or under La Brea Avenue makes the most financial sense for extending the Crenshaw train across Midcity to link to Hollywood, according to a preliminary Metro study released Sunday.

But routing the proposed train through West Hollywood would provide “dramatically higher access to jobs and housing in the vicinity of proposed station locations,” according to a report prepared for the Metro board of directors meeting on Thursday.

Metro has $2.3 billion in Measure M sales tax revenue earmarked for extending the Crenshaw Line, a 8-1/2 light rail route from LAX through Inglewood and Leimert Park, to its currently-under construction underground terminus at the Expo Line.

Rail service between the Green Line near LAX, and the Expo Line in Midcity, is supposed to start by the end of next year. Extending the Crenshaw Line north will serve one of the densest population areas on the West Coast.

But the study warns that Metro has about half of the money it needs to build the north-south rail line, which would rely extensively on tunnels.

The City of West Hollywood has been lobbying strongly to extend the tracks north up Crenshaw, and then west along San Vicente Boulevard, the former route of Red Car trains between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. Tunnels would be used to connect the Expo/Crenshaw station to the broad San Vicente median, and then from West Hollywood City Hall to the Hollywood/Highland Red Line subway station.

Metro notes that West Hollywood wants to come up with funding to jump start construction of the northern extension, and Metro recommends working with the city to both come up with the extra money, and come up with it sooner.

Metro staff looked at that alternative, as well as routing tracks above, along or below La Cienega Boulevard, Fairfax Avenue and La Brea. A shorter route was also considered, using Vermont Avenue to link to the subway at Wilshire Boulevard, but that was all-but-rejected.

The San Vicente route — furthest to the west — was estimated to cost $4.3 billion to construct, La Cienega was just above that at $4.4 billion, and the Fairfax alternative the most expensive, at $4.7 billion.

About 79 percent of the Fairfax train would have to be in expensive tunnels, Metro said, while 55 percent of the San Vicente train would be in subways.

Using the La Brea corridor was estimated to cost $3 billion, and 49 percent of it would need to be in tunnels. The other half of the La Brea train would be overhead, on bridges.

The two western-most routes — San Vicente and La Cienega — were estimated to draw 90,800 riders per day in the Metro study. Fairfax was estimated to draw 88,700 patrons, and La Brea was estimated at 87,200 people.

The report goes to the Metro board of director for its meeting regular meeting, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, at the Metro headquarters building near Los Angeles Union Station.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.