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Regional Connector Environmental Docs Set for Release

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, August 30, 2010, at 03:35PM
Regional Connector Render: 2nd Street Looking West Metro

Get ready for another round of talk about the Regional Connector.

On Friday, Metro will release the project's Draft Environmental Impact Report, a massive document that details the impacts that different build alternatives would have on the surrounding environment.

A pair of stakeholder meetings will be held in September, one on September 28th from 6:30 – 8pm at the Japanese American National Museum, and the other on October 4th from 11:30am - 1pm at the Police Administration Building's Deaton Auditorium.

The Regional Connector is intended to connect all of Metro's light rail lines together via a link that would run from the Blue Line's 7th & Metro station to the Gold Line's Little Tokyo / Arts District station. The agency would then be able to offer trains running through Downtown from Long Beach to Pasadena or Culver City to East Los Angeles.

At the end of a 45-day comment period, the transit agency's board will vote on which of the three build options will be designated as the "locally preferred alternative." That should be a big deal for Downtown stakeholders who have been consistant in calling for a fully-underground solution.

Metro formally added that alternative as an option in February after an outcry from Little Tokyo over the way that existing plans would impact that community.

The project is estimated to cost $700 - $900 million. Metro anticipates opening the link in 2019, but that timeline could be sped up if Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is able to convince the federal government to provide funding for his "30/10 Initiative," which would compress 30 years of transit projects into just one decade.

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