Construction flaws delay $2.06 billion Crenshaw rail line project two years beyond original schedule


Construction problems will delay the opening of the $2.06 billion Crenshaw rail line through South Los Angeles until mid-2021, two years later than the original schedule.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s project is about 95 percent complete, the Los Angeles Times has reported. However, there are problems including flaws in the steel support structure to anchor the train tracks in tunnels and on bridges. As well, the newspaper reports there are issues including settlement in walls that support a rail bridge over La Brea Avenue near downtown Inglewood.

Earlier delays included challenges with electrical substations, sidewalks and gas lines.

“We’re disappointed with the schedule,” Metro Chief Executive Phil Washington told The Times. “Anybody would be.”

The contractor, a joint venture of Walsh Construction and J.F. Shea Construction, will pay for some of the work that needs to be redone, said chief program management officer Rick Clarke.

“We are going to demand a quality project, period,” Washington said. “We are insisting that all of this work gets done and that it actually works. If we have to delay the project, then that’s what we’ll do.”

Clarke said concrete slabs that are used to stabilize and anchor the Crenshaw Line’s tracks on bridges and in tunnels were installed incorrectly . “The slabs, called plinths, are supposed to be tightly anchored, using steel reinforcements called rebar, to a platform beneath the tracks,” the Times Reported.

In “a few hundred locations” along the line, the rebar was installed incorrectly, Clarke said. Because the tracks have already been installed on top of the plinths, crews may have to lift up each section of track, fix or replace the rebar, and reinstall the rails, he said.

“I know it sounds bad — it sounds bad to us,” Clarke said. “It’s something that we’re concerned about and watching very closely.”

Anthony Crump, Metro’s deputy executive officer for community relations, said in the published report that the contractor is also drawing up plans to fix ground settlement in walls that support a rail bridge over La Brea Avenue. He said he did not know the extent of the settlement, only that “it exceeded Metro’s acceptable limits.”


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