(Photo courtesy of Metro)

Trains will be running through Santa Monica as of July 23.

Expo officials said the first trains traveling under their own power would roll through the east edge of town on July 23. The testing will be confined to east of 26th Street with the only street crossing likely to occur on Stewart Street.

Project staff said the eastern portion of the tracks have already undergone testing with a train car pulled by a truck. Those tests verify the integrity of the power system and test clearances. Truck-pulled trains will likely cross 17th Street on July 27 and will be towed from 17th to 4th Street.

If test results are favorable, powered trains will begin traveling the length of the track by the end of next week.

As testing progresses, safety measures are being activated along the tracks. Drivers, bikers and pedestrians should be prepared for train activity such as flaggers or safety personnel in the street, active crossing gates, train noise and warning lights.

Phase 2 of the Expo expansion includes 6.6 miles of track from Culver City to Santa Monica. The project includes seven new stations and is expected to carry 64,000 daily riders by 2030. Officials said the estimated time from Santa Monica to Downtown L.A. will be 46 minutes.

The $1.5 billion project is almost complete. All seven bridges are complete, track installation is complete, station construction is almost complete, roadway improvements are underway and installation of the overhead catenary system is almost finished.

Ongoing work at the stations includes installation of pedestrian crossings, ramps, guardrails, gate posts, permanent signs, bike racks/lockers, furnishings and landscaping. Construction is also ingoing for a parking lot at the 17th Street station.

Work will continue this summer on the adjacent bikeway including light poles, grading, paving and electrical work.

editor@www.smdp.com

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