Preview of L.A. Metro’s Nearly Completed Regional Connector Subway
This morning, Metro hosted a tour of the under construction Regional Connector subway, slated to open later this year. Local press toured the nearly finished Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station, including a brief test train ride to the new Historic Broadway Station.
Metro celebrated an important construction milestone today: the completion of all trackwork, guideway systems, and station platform areas. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins and three Metro boardmembers all praised the anticipated mobility benefits of the project, calling it a game changer.
Metro’s Regional Connector is a $1.8 billion 1.9-mile light rail subway below downtown Los Angeles. The project will tie together the Metro A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines, offering single-seat rides from East L.A. to Santa Monica, and from Azusa to Long Beach. Once the Connector opens, many Metro rail trips that had required one or two transfers will be faster and easier, requiring fewer transfers – in many cases no transfer.
Regional Connector construction got underway in 2014. The line was initially projected to open in 2020, but faced some delays and cost overruns. Now the project is 93 percent complete, according to this week’s Metro’s construction project status report.
As with other new Metro rail lines, the contractor turns over the project to Metro – when construction is said to be “substantially complete” – then Metro does testing and training for about six months before opening to the public.
With the Connector’s train systems construction substantially complete, Metro train testing is already underway. The remaining construction work – the three new stations – is expected to be completed by this summer. Wiggins, Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Hilda Solis all announced that the Connector would open to the public in fall of 2022. Metro also plans to open the new Crenshaw/LAX light rail line this fall.
The Grand Avenue Station is located more-or-less behind the Broad Museum and the Disney Concert Hall; the station includes a new pedestrian bridge directly to the Broad.
Given Bunker Hill’s topography, the Grand Station will be the deepest in the Metro system, approximately 100 feet below street level.
Short vid of this morning’s Regional Connector subway ride. Media boarded at Bunker Hill Station and rode to Broadway Station and back pic.twitter.com/hul78P74Sj
— StreetsblogLA (@StreetsblogLA) April 18, 2022