Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) joined officials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Skanska USA Civil on Aug. 11 to tour the recently completed Exposition Light Rail Transit Phase 2 (Expo 2).
The project extended service from Culver City to Santa Monica. The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association coordinated the event.
The tour began with a presentation at the La Cienega/Jefferson Station with Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington and Brian Freund, vice president of operations for Skanska USA Civil. Phase 2 of the Metro Expo Line project is 6.6 miles long and connects Santa Monica by rail to downtown Los Angeles and the rest of the 105-mile Metro Rail system. Construction began in 2012 and was completed in 2016. The Exposition Construction Authority awarded the design-build contract for Phase 2 to Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV) in March 2011 and the project opened on May 20, 2016. The NRC presented SRJV with the 2016 Large Project of the Year for the Expo 2 project in January.
Expo 2 included the addition of seven stations. The project’s urban location required extensive planning to accommodate motor vehicles, transit riders, pedestrians and cyclists. Outreach efforts identified noise as a primary concern for residents and high profile theaters and recording studios near the tracks. As a result, a system was installed to mitigate vibration and noise emitted by light rail trains. Expo 2 has two independent systems to reduce vibrations that were the first installed in the United States. Expo 2 also met numerous technical challenges to become the first transit project in the United States to receive Envision Platinum certification from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure. Lieu discussed the need for continued investment in rail transit systems.
“It was a pleasure to see firsthand the completed Expo 2 line, which connects many diverse neighborhoods in California’s 33rd District from Santa Monica to downtown L.A.,” Lieu added. “The project demonstrates the value of supporting transportation infrastructure investments.”
The group discussed the need to increase budget allocations for transportation infrastructure investments. Members also emphasized the importance of the Capital Investment Grants Program and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant Program that support rail infrastructure investment as well as transportation, housing and urban development goals.
“The Expo Line is now Metro’s second busiest light-rail line in terms of ridership and our agency’s first project to receive the Envision Platinum certification,” Washington said.
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