LA Metro announces five companies competing for project planning and design
By Chad Winthrop
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has selected five developers to bid on the agency’s massive Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project, which will build a high-speed transit line directly connecting the San Fernando Valley and the Westside, and ultimately with LAX.
This week Metro announced that ACS Infrastructure Development, LA SkyRail Express, Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners (Bechtel), Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners (Fengate) and Tutor Perini, Parsons & Plenary have met the agency’s initial qualifications for submitting a Predevelopment Agreement (PDA) proposal to assist with project planning and design, with the potential opportunity to enter into an Implementation Agreement for the project.
“I’m pleased that there has been such strong early private-sector interest in this game-changing transit project,” said city of Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts. “These firms have a substantial breadth of expertise in the United States and abroad.”
The Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project is funded in part by Measure M, the transportation sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2016. The total project will receive $9.5 billion in funding from Measure M and other local, state and federal sources.
The first phase of the transit line between the Valley and the Westside is scheduled to open in 2033, and the second phase to LAX is scheduled to open in 2057 under the current Measure M schedule. However, Metro says its working aggressively to accelerate the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project schedule.
“The natural barrier created by the Santa Monica Mountains means that most people traveling between these areas are funneled primarily onto the I-405 Freeway, already ranked as one of the most traveled urban highways in the nation.” Metro added, “More than 400,000 people travel through this area every day to commute to work, school, and other destinations along the freeway and beyond.”
Potential locations for a stop on the Westside include the UCLA campus, the future Westwood Purple Line Extension stop, the Expo Line Sepulveda and Bundy stations, the Culver City Transit Center, the intersection of Washington Boulevard and the 405 freeway and the intersection of Venice Boulevard and the 405 freeway.
The location of the stations will be determined by the type of train LA Metro chooses. These include Heavy Rail Transit (HRT), currently used by the Red and Purple Lines, Light Rail Transit (LRT), currently used by the Expo Line and Monorail. HRTs, offer the Highest speed, fastest loading but requires a fully separated right-of-way. LRTs offer high speed, flexibility, can operate in-street or on a separated right-of-way. Monorails, while having a lower speed can operate on steeper grades than HRTs and LRTs, something LA Metro is taking into account given the terrain of the Sepulveda Pass.
All of these options can make it from the Valley to the Expo Line in 26 minutes or less, with the fastest being HRTs at 15 minutes. For comparison, without traffic, the same distance takes 22 minutes in a car and 110 minutes in traffic.