New date for subway service to Westwood: June 30, 2022

That's what Metro is now projecting - so long as it receives expedited funding from Washington - and that appears to be happening, at least in part. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer announced that a $640.8-million loan was nearing final approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The loan is coming from the government's Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA. Metro's application sets 2013 for the start of construction on the Westside extension. From The Source:

The loan will be paid back with funds from Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. The trick with Measure R funds is that they flow in slowly over time and have to be split among the many Measure R projects. A loan, on the other hand, is money that can be spent now on the subway project, which carries a hefty pricetag of about $5.3 billion if built in the next decade. Which is still no sure thing.

Under Measure R and the agency's long-range plan, Metro is planning to build the subway in three phases: to Fairfax by 2019, Century City by 2026 and Westwood by 2036. But Metro is trying to persuade Congress to approve the America Fast Forward plan that would expand TIFIA and other federal financing to speed up the construction of big and expensive transit projects. The loan helps that cause but does not ensure it will happen.

Yup, it looks as if this thing will be happening, though the 2022 opening is about as likely as the Dodgers winning the World Series. Whatever the date turns out to be, you better get ready for insane amounts of traffic disruption that will make the 405 project look like a street-sweeping. I can hardly wait.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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