Just Another Day In SouthLA
After a 5 hour debate, the Metro Board of Directors voted 9-3 to add an underground station in the heart of Leimert Park Village as part of the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line — but under one big condition. The station would only be built if funds, estimated at about $131 million, could be found its allotted $1.715 billion for the entire project.
The money could potentially come from a variety of sources, the most likely being lowered construction costs. In essence, the Board agreed that the project must stay within a budget of $1.715 billion with or without aLeimertParkVillagestation atVernon AvenueandCrenshaw Boulevard.
In particular, the Board asked that the station be included when construction firms bid to build the project. The hope is that the winning bid can find a way to get the station done within the project’s budget — or, at the very least, an underground box where a station can be added at a later date.
If neither is possible, the motion recommends that a street level station be built at 48th Street — two blocks south of Vernon — and that non-Metro funding be found to build it.
In a separate vote, the Board voted 10 to 3 not to build the train underground throughParkMesaHeights. Ridley-Thomas was seeking to have that segment put underground to increase safety and the speed of the line and minimize traffic conflicts. The three dissenting votes came from Ridley-Thomas, Antonovich and Gloria Molina.