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Metro to Hold Another Round of Connector Meetings

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, October 14, 2008, at 09:01AM
2nd Street with Regional Connector Metro

This rendering shows 2nd street with an above-ground Regional Connector.

On Thursday Metro will hold the first of two meetings to update the public on the status of the Regional Connector, a project that would tie together the region's light rail lines while passing through Downtown. The Alternatives Analysis will present two options for the route, one above-ground and one below it.

Currently, Metro's light rail lines terminate at either Union Station or 7th/Metro station. The Regional Connector is designed to bridge the gap between the two, allowing trains to run on multiple routings, including Long Beach to Pasadena and from the westside to East L.A.. The connection would run from 7th/Metro and join up with the Gold Line just south of the 101, near the Arts District / Little Tokyo station.

Metro presented eight alignment alternatives to the public back in February. Four of the eight would run at-grade on 2nd street, removing that street to all but the most limited of access.

Back in May, we reported that Metro had narrowed its choices down to two alignments. One would run underground, following 2nd street but leaving the roadway in service. It would require reconstruction of the intersection of 1st and Alameda. This subway alternative would cost $800 million.

The other would come above ground at 4th and Flower, crossing 3rd street at-grade before cutting into the 2nd street tunnel. On the east side of the tunnel it would continue at-grade, using Main and Los Angeles streets as a paired-couplet to travel up to Temple street, which it would take to Alameda. The 2nd street tunnel would be removed from service, and 2nd between Hill and Los Angeles would be one lane for limited local traffic. This alternative would cost roughly $650 million.

The new meetings are Metro's chance to officially present those two alternatives to the public. The first meeting will be held Thursday at noon at the Central Library (630 W. 5th). The second will be held next Tuesday, October 21, at 6:30pm at the Japanese American National Museum (369 E. 1st).


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