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Elected Officials, L.A. Metro Thank Community for Continued Support During Construction of the Regional Connector Transit Project

Monday May 21, 2018

Elected officials joined Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) executives for a community celebration in the Little Tokyo/Arts District today adjacent to the Japanese American National Museum to thank residents and business owners for their continued support during construction of the Regional Connector Transit Project in downtown Los Angeles. The new rail line is now 50 percent complete.

“Transportation improvements aren’t just about building infrastructure — they’re about building new connections to the people and places that we love,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “The Regional Connector will bring those connections to riders across the region, and today’s milestone means we’re one step closer to a one-seat ride from the Eastside to the beach.”

The family-friendly event included various merchant display booths and exhibits and hands-on demonstrations, tours of the nearby Regional Connector construction site at 1st and Central and a marketplace of local businesses participating in Metro’s Eat, Shop, Play local campaign program.

“The Metro Board recognized the importance of the Business Solution Center, Business Interruption Funds, and the popular Eat, Shop, Play program to engage the community during the construction phase of the project,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member Hilda L. Solis. “These mitigation programs are vital for the community of mom-and-pop businesses located along the construction zone. Their survival and continued success is key to the creation of transit-oriented communities while avoiding displacement and gentrification. Today, we want to recognize their sacrifice and thank them for their patience.”

“Today we celebrate the halfway mark of the Regional Connector Transit Project, a huge milestone for the community, for Metro and for the City of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Councilmember José Huizar. “The Regional Connector fits in with our DTLA Forward vision for a more multi-modal Downtown Los Angeles. Together, we must remain united in the goal of creating a great transportation network serving the entire region with DTLA as our public-transportation center point.”

The $1.75-billion Regional Connector Transit Project is a 1.9-mile underground light-rail tunnel that will connect the Metro Blue, Expo and Gold Lines in downtown Los Angeles. The project will include three new stations at 1st Street/Central Avenue, 2nd Street/ Broadway and 2nd Place/Hope Street. The rail line is expected to serve 88,000 riders daily – including 17,000 new riders – and save commuters up to 20 minutes by reducing the need to transfer when traveling to and through downtown L.A. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021.

“Transforming the L.A. region through an aggressive transportation initiative has taken a giant step forward today as we reach a critical halfway point in this important project,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “When completed, this project will be a real game changer for the entire region providing greater connectivity.” 

Completion of the twin tunnels for the project occurred in January of this year with the use of a state-of-the-art tunnel boring machine manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht AG. The machine weighs approximately 1,000 tons, is 400 feet long and is 21.6 feet in diameter. It advanced about 70 feet per day on average and mined 10,900 feet between the two tunnels and excavated over four million cubic feet, or 240,000 tons of earth. 

With the completion of the tunnels, construction on the project has now turned toward finishing the three underground stations and the last portion of rail tunnel under Flower Street.

Metro has contracted with Regional Connector Constructors (RCC), a joint venture between Skanska, and Traylor Brothers, Inc. to design and build the project.

About Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines.  The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.                                                          

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