A host of local officials broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to create a scenic bike and pedestrian path stretching from Inglewood through South Los Angeles, connecting a pair of light rail lines and a rapid transit bus corridor on the Harbor (110) Freeway.
The Rail to Rail Active Transportation Project will stretch 5.5 miles, reaching from the Metro A (Blue) Line station at Slauson Avenue to the future Fairview Heights station on the Metro K (Crenshaw/LAX) rail line on Florence Avenue in Inglewood.
Along the way, the path will connect with the Metro Silver Line rapid bus station at the 110 Freeway and Slauson Avenue.
According to Metro, the path will be constructed along an unused rail corridor owned by the agency, while also utilizing some city and county streets.
“By converting an abandoned and blighted railway into a world class bike and pedestrian path, we are providing significant quality of life and mobility improvements to some of Los Angeles’ most under-served neighborhoods — providing safe options for the student who bikes to school, or the family setting out for a walk,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts said the project will be a welcome improvement to the unused rail corridor.
“This is where the train ran, and when the train didn’t run anymore, it was just ignored,” Butts said. “I wondered as I grew up, I said, how long are those train tracks going to be there? When this active transportation project is completed, people will be able to use the path to access jobs, businesses, sports and entertainment.”
The path is expected to be heavily landscaped with dedicated walking and bike paths separated from traffic.
Metro officials said the project will include installation of “several thousand” shrubs, hundreds of trees, lights, security cameras and benches.
The $140 million project is expected to be completed in 2024.
Planning is continuing on a proposed second phase of the project — a Rail to River path — which would stretch east from the Metro A Line Slauson station and move through the Huntington Park area, eventually connecting with the Los Angeles River.