WORK IN PROGRESS: A truck exits the future home of the terminus of the Expo Light Rail Line on Tuesday afternoon. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.com)

WORK IN PROGRESS: A truck exits the future home of the terminus of the Expo Light Rail Line on Tuesday afternoon. (Daniel Archuleta daniela@smdp.com)

11TH STREET — Santa Monica is getting its first new train tracks in decades early next month as Expo Light Rail construction moves toward 11th Street, Metro officials said.

Construction on Phase 2 of the Expo is halfway done, on time and on budget, officials said.

Last week, the first Phase 2 tracks were laid, crossing Westwood Boulevard. In the first week of December, workers will put down tracks leading up to 11th Street, which will be closed at Colorado Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the entire second week of December as tracks are laid across the street.

Similar street closures will follow, as more tracks are laid in January.

The 26th Street and Bergamot Station stop is well underway, with foundation and utility work currently in progress.

Work on the Expo Maintenance Facility, on Exposition Boulevard from Bundy Drive to Stewart Street, began this summer and will be done next fall, according to the report.

Roadway improvements along Colorado Boulevard will begin next year.

 

City gets MTA grants

 

City Hall will receive $5.4 million in grants from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to make multiple Expo-related improvements throughout the city.

The grant requires a $1.3 million local match from City Hall, totaling $6.7 million.

The grants will go toward four projects throughout the city.

• A $1.6 million project will improve circulation in the area around the Expo stations for bikes, pedestrians, and cars by adding wayfinding signs, transit map cases, and electronic parking guidance signs.

• A $2.4 million project will extend the Expo bike path south along 17th Street to Pico Boulevard and westward along Michigan Avenue to Lincoln Boulevard. This is the first portion of the Michigan Avenue Neighborhood Greenway (MANGO). It will connect the stations to Santa Monica College.

• A $675,600 project would add bicycle detection to 20 to 30 intersections. This reduces signal delay for buses and cars. Bike detection is already installed at 30 percent of the city’s traffic signals and this project would add it to an additional 15 percent.

• A $2 million project will improve the aesthetics of Fourth Street, between Broadway and Olympic Drive, near the Expo station. It will increase pedestrian and bike safety. It will also encourage walking between Downtown, the Civic Center and the station.

Some of the projects could begin as early as next year, with others starting in 2018.

MTA rejected funding for a $1.6 million “mobility hub” at the 17th Street Station, a $1.97 million pedestrian lighting project at 17th Street, and a $3.31 million request for five new buses.

 

dave@smdp.com

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