New subway lines don't come around every day. They are expensive, complicated projects that take years to plan, finance, and build. But it looks like major cities on both coasts are working towards new major new subway projects.
In New York, the Second Avenue Subway Project is the first major expansion of New York's subway system in more than half a century. The MTA started studying the project in the mid-1990's, issued an Environmental Impact Statement in 1999, and finally broke ground in 2007. Construction is now well underway.
In Los Angeles, the proposed project making most of the news is the Westside Subway Extension - the extension of the "Purple Line" to Westwood.
MTA commenced an alternatives analysis in 2007. On October 28, 2010, the MTA approved a draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (the EIR is for compliance with California's CEQA law; the EIS is for compliance with the federal NEPA law), and authorized preparation of a final EIR/EIS. MTA anticipates adopting the final EIR/EIS late this summer.
Very recently, MTA accomplished another milestone. On January 5, it announced that the Federal Transit Administration has given MTA formal approval to commence preliminary engineering work on the Westside Subway Extension (and the Regional Connector, another proposed subway project). This is crucial, because it signals the likelihood that the FTA will approve the project as part of its New Starts program, a key federal funding component for large-scale transit projects.
Like New York's Second Avenue Project, this one will take a long time. As described by the MTA:
The Westside Subway Extension will extend the Purple Line from its terminus at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to the VA Hospital in Westwood. Under Metro’s long-range plan adopted in 2009, the subway would be built in three phases — to Fairfax Avenue by 2019, Century City by 2026 and Westwood by 2036.
However, the possibility of the New Starts dollars and MTA's 30/10 Initiative (which is intended to facilitate building 30 years of Measure R transportation projects in 10 years), the schedule could mean the line is completed as early as 2022.
Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues. His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes. His public ...
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