Friday, December 21, 2012

Los Angeles Metro Regional Connector, Businesses Likely to Be Displaced

The early stages of construction began this week on the Metro Regional Connector project in downtown Los Angeles, with utility relocation work in affected areas. The intent of the Regional Connector, a LACMTA project spanning approximately 2 miles, is to streamline travel for transit riders by eliminating transfer points in downtown Los Angeles.  The Regional Connector is a light rail that will bridge the Expo and Blue lines at the 7th/Metro Station with the Gold Line adjacent to Little Tokyo. The Project would also allow uninterrupted travel between Long Beach and Montclair/East Los Angeles and Santa Monica and the San Gabriel Valley.  The Final EIR/EIS which was released on January 20, 2012, found that downtown stations where transfer points are currently located are overburdened by the volume of Metro riders. The long term goal for the light rail is to allow travel for a considerable distance both north/south and east/west with no need to transfer.

The Locally Preferred Alternative set forth in the Final EIR will require displacement of approximately 11 parcels, most of which are businesses, and will include temporary as well as permanent easements. In March, it was reported that several businesses with longstanding roots in the Little Tokyo area will be affected when construction begins in 2013.