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Old 05-20-2016, 06:05 PM   #1
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A Biggie for L.A., Metro's Expo Line to Santa Monica Opened Today.

Santa Monica and Los Angeles pictures below.

Expo Line reaches 2020 ridership goal
Despite some delays and crowding, the line is an over-achiever

New data from Metro show the Expo Line hit a daily average of 64,000 boardings—a goal that officials didn’t expect the Downtown-to-Santa-Monica light rail line to reach until 2020, Urbanize LA reports.

The Expo Line’s second phase—which brought it to Downtown Santa Monica—opened in May 2016. In March 2017, it saw its best ridership numbers to date.

The Expo Line extension to the beach had a lot of early hiccups, including late trains and overcrowding. There are now more frequent arrivals and more train cars.

The Architects Newspaper
By ANTONIO PACHECO • May 24, 2016

New transit line links Downtown Los Angeles to the beach

Passengers waiting for the Expo Train in Santa Monica (Courtesy Metro, Photo by Steve Hymon)

For transit boosters and urbanists in Los Angeles, last weekend’s opening of the 6.6 mile extension to the city’s Expo Line linking Downtown Los Angeles with Santa Monica represents a capstone over a quarter century of hard-fought rail construction in a city notorious for its auto-dependent populace.

Los Angeles systematically dismantled its pre-World War II Red Car system in the post-war era and did not begin rebuilding its rail transit infrastructure until in the late 1980s. Metro opened the Blue line in 1990, a 22-mile light rail route linking Downtown Los Angeles with Long Beach. Since then, the system has grown exponentially, with two subway routes, four light rail lines, and two rapid bus lines completed since. Much of the recent expansion has been funded with money collected via sales tax increases. The Metro has another such initiative, Measure R2, on the November ballot this year aiming to help the agency continue its vigorous growth.

A first phase of the Expo Line opened in 2012 linking downtown to Culver City. The now-completed 15.2 mile route reestablishes rail transportation between the beach-adjacent westside communities and the region’s symbolic heart downtown by essentially reviving the route taken by the Pacific Electric Red Car service’s Air Line service that ran along the former Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe right of way between 1908 to 1953. The new line is expected to take around an hour end to end, about the same amount of time it takes to drive in good traffic.

The Expo Phase II project was constructed via a design-build partnership between Skanska USA and Rados Construction Inc. and was administered by Expo Authority, the independent agency created by Metro to build the line. Skanska USA tapped Parsons Brinckerhoff to design the route’s tracks, stations, and bicycle facilities. Parsons Brinckerhoff also designed 24 at-grade and above-grade intersections for the line.

The Architects Newspaper
July 5, 2016

"Expo’s design and existence is an unexpectedly powerful, if somewhat work-in-progress expression on behalf of transit-mixed streets".

L.A.’s Updated Metro Rail map (Courtesy Metro)

LA Curbed, July 12, 2016:

Railway Age
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Surf's up for LA's new Expo Line
Written by Ben Vient, Managing Editor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported on July 11 that ridership numbers are up for Metro Expo since its extension opened May 20.

During the expanded line's first full month of June, average weekday boardings increased from 29,047 in April to 45,876 in June.

There were similar gains on weekends, especially on Sundays — with the number of average estimated boardings rising the most on Sundays, from 15,965 in April to 35,995 in June, suggesting its becoming a popular route to the beach.

The 6.6-mile light rail extension parallels Exposition Boulevard, passing through Westwood, West L.A., and Santa Monica. Kinkisharyo USA is assembling 78 new LRVs for the line at its facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Railway Age
December 22, 2016

On Dec. 21, 2016, the National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association (NRC) named the Exposition Light Rail Transit Phase 2 Design-Build Project (Expo 2) by Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV) as the 2016 Large Project of the Year.

Expo 2 by SRJV provides transit access from Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica Beach, connecting the University of Southern California, Exposition Park, and West Los Angeles for the first time in 60 years. Expo 2 wove a 6.6-mile urban light rail extension of the Metro Expo Line through the congested Westside of Los Angeles. It added seven stations, two aerial, four at grade, and one elevated station adjacent to the Colorado Esplanade Project, which connects the station to the newly renovated Santa Monica Pier. Systems and electrical work included a low-profile overhead catenary system (OCS), train control and signals, crossing protection, traction power, and communications.

NRC says "the project’s urban location required extensive maintenance of traffic planning for vehicles, public transit commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists. Outreach efforts identified noise as a primary concern for residents, and high profile theaters and recording studios, so a GERB track system was installed to mitigate vibration and noise emitted by light rail vehicles. Expo 2 boasts two independent GERB systems, the first and second installed in the United States."

April, 2017: Santa Monica pictures, followed by LA architecture photographs

Colorado Esplanade opened June 5, 2016 (Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica).
It features 25-foot wide sidewalks with yellow and black wave-like pavers, and yellow poles with string lights that are placed between the Santa Monica light rail station and the Santa Monica Pier.

Blustery wind

Tongva Park, 2013

Small Sample of LA Architecture

Two notable groundbreakings anticipated for Los Angeles in 2018.

The Architect's Newspaper
Gehry’s Grand Avenue towers in L.A. roar back to life
By ANTONIO PACHECO • August 14, 2017

This development is across from Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall on Grand Avenue.

"The long-stalled Grand Avenue project in Downtown Los Angeles received an infusion of cash last year and is slated for a 2018 groundbreaking. (Courtesy Gehry Partners)"

Lucas Museum receives final approval, moves toward 2018 groundbreaking
By ANTONIO PACHECO • June 28, 2017

The Architect’s Newspaper, March 14, 2018 - “formal groundbreaking ceremony”,
“The structure is expected to be complete by 2021.”

This development, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, is in Exposition Park south of downtown. A station for this park is on the Expo Line (Exposition Boulevard) that goes to Santa Monica.

City People:
Scenes from Some of Our American Cities

Last edited by EdMc; 03-14-2018 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Added Santa Monica pictures, LA architecture photographs, renderings of two 2018 developments
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