If you regularly drive through Culver City, West Los Angeles and Santa Monica, you’ve probably seen all of the construction happening for what’s formally known as the Exposition Transit Corridor, Phase 2. That’s the extension of of the current Expo Line between downtown Culver City and downtown Santa Monica. When it’s completed in 2015 (although that could slide into 2016), this $1.5 billion extension will make a long-time transportation dream come true, a passenger light rail line connecting downtown L.A. and Santa Monica. It’s hoped such a line will do everything from relieving traffic on the notoriously-gridlocked Santa Monica 10 Freeway to giving diverse neighborhoods along the route a common sense of civic identity.
The Expo Line extension now being built runs 6.6 miles from downtown Culver City to downtown Santa Monica, ending on the corner of 4th Street and Colorado Avenue. When it opens in 2016, the extension will be serviced by seven new stations along the route serving what Metro says will be an estimated 64,000 passengers.
But that’s in the future. Right now, the building of the Expo Line extension means noise, road closures, and construction-related congestion, and all of this will last months. That knowledge is probably just starting to sink in with many residents, businesses and commuters on the Westside, people who have already battle-scarred from construction along the 405 Freeway.