The L.A. Metro Board of Directors this week approved contracts with two private sector teams for predevelopment work on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project using a first-of-its-kind public-private model.
This megaproject is planned to connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and eventually LAX via a high-speed, high-capacity transit line, connecting two busy destinations for residents and workers. The primary travel option for most people currently is driving the I-405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, a choke point that is one of the nation’s most congested roadways.
Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel was awarded a $69.9 million contract to further develop its proposed heavy rail transit solution concept. More than 60% of the partner team’s proposed heavy rail concept would travel underground, with the remainder of the line traveling primarily in an aerial section. A Valley-to-Westside trip would take just under 20 minutes according to the team’s proposal. The team’s estimated costs for constructing this proposed solution is $10.8 billion.
LA SkyRail Express was awarded a $63.6 million contract to further develop its proposed monorail concept that would be an aerial alignment primarily within the I-405 right-of-way between the Valley and Westside. Proposed travel times via monorail are estimated at 24 minutes. The LA SkyRail Express team’s baseline proposal cost for building the monorail concept is $6.1 billion.
“With the Board's action today, we have reached a significant milestone in our efforts to envision, design, and develop the United States’ first predevelopment agreement specifically for a public transit initiative,” Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said in a statement. “As we work diligently to create a world-class transportation system here in the Los Angeles region, we will also be creating a new market for infrastructure innovation that can potentially help us build the most challenging project Metro will ever tackle.”
Now that PDA contracts have been approved, L.A. Metro plans to begin the environmental review process this fall, where concept designs for these and other alternatives will be advanced and/or refined through extensive, ongoing public feedback and technical investigation and analysis.
SOURCE: L.A. Metro