Most of Subway’s new Crenshaw/LAX light rail line nearly complete – opening could be December 2022 – Streetsblog Los Angeles

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The Metro’s new 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX light rail line is really nearing the finish line. According to testimony to the Executive Management Committee of Metro’s Board of Directors yesterday, staff indicated that Crenshaw’s Segments A and B (explained below) are substantially complete, which essentially means they have moved from the responsibility of the contractor to the responsibility of Metro. After substantial completion, Metro typically needs about six months to test the line, train operators, and resolve any issues – before opening to the public.

Overall, Crenshaw/LAX construction is 99.6% complete, according to Metro staff report.

If all goes well – which Crenshaw/LAX hasn’t so far – the new rail line could open to the public as early as December. Although early 2023 seems most likely.

Subway map showing Crenshaw/LAX line segments
Subway map showing Crenshaw/LAX line segments

The Crenshaw/LAX line runs through the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood. Its northern terminus is at Metro E (Expo) Line Crenshaw station. Its southern terminus is at the metro line C (green) aviation station. Initially, Crenshaw line operations will be linked to the C line and will not include the LAX station (although passengers can use the Aviation Station Shuttle). The LAX connection is a separate project – the Metro Airport Connector station, scheduled to open in 2024.

Completed segments A and B extend south from Leimert Park station to the southern terminus.

The remaining Section C – the northern end of the line where it runs underground – is expected to be substantially complete by early June (as reported last month).

While the focus was on the Crenshaw/LAX line being delayed and over budget (it was scheduled to open pre-pandemic fall 2019), yesterday County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl expressed her excitement about the upcoming opening of the new line. “As I look in particular at Crenshaw, the airport connector, the regional connector – thinking about the progress that has been made through all of these difficulties,” enthused Kuehl, “I was really excited to cross my old neighborhood in Crenshaw, [and] the regional connector to go from one end to the other [of the county] to another on a train. It’s exciting.”

Kuehl thanked Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and all Metro staff who “worked so hard to fight through all the setbacks” then said “just listening to this made me feel to want to jump on a train right now”.

Map of the nearly completed Crenshaw/LAX line of the subway
Map of the nearly completed Crenshaw/LAX line of the subway

Jose P. Rogers