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Monday, Oct 3, 2022
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Opening Delayed for Southern Portion of Metro’s Crenshaw-LAX Line

Metro’s oft-delayed $2.15 billion Crenshaw-LAX line – newly dubbed the K Line – is slated to finally open to riders in the fall, with no further delays. Or so the agency had previously conveyed.

Turns out that’s only partially correct. In recent months, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun informing communities along the route that the 8.5-mile line will open in two phases: one this fall and the other two years from now.

“Due to the ongoing construction of the Airport Metro Connector Transit Station, the K Line will open in two phases,” according to the latest fact sheet Metro put out in the spring.

The first phase opening by the end of this year will include approximately 6.5 route miles and six new stations between the E (Expo) Line and northern Westchester. In terms of major destinations, it will connect the E Line with the Crenshaw Corridor, Leimert Park and downtown Inglewood.

But the southern fourth of the route – approximately two miles between Westchester and the C (Green) Line – won’t open to passengers for at least another two years, until the completion of the station connecting to the people mover taking passengers to and from the terminals at Los Angeles International Airport.

That station, which is operating on a separate timeline and $900 million construction budget, is now slated to open in 2024.
This new phased opening is occurring even though the only other station along this segment – the Aviation/Century station – has completed construction and is ready for operation.

According to the new Metro fact sheet, the segment of the line going by the site of the Airport Metro Connector station must remain closed because the construction of one of the main platforms for this station will impinge upon the operation of the rail line.

To accommodate passengers wishing to connect to the C (Green) Line, the fact sheet states that Metro will establish a bus shuttle, commonly referred to as a “bus bridge.”

Metro has used such shuttles before, usually for a few weeks or months as renovations are conducted on an existing rail line. But the agency has rarely, if ever, implemented a bus bridge for such a long period.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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