California Construction News staff writer
A ground-breaking ceremony was held to launch construction on the Rail-to-Rail project, a new 5.5-mile path for pedestrians, cyclists and rollers that will transform a blighted, unused rail corridor in Inglewood and South Los Angeles and connect to several Metro bus and rail lines.
The $143-million project is expected to “inject new life” into the Inglewood and South L.A. community, a historically disadvantaged area. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.
“Today, decades of work are made real as we invest and transform these old rail tracks into a corridor that the Slauson community can be proud of,” said Metro Board Member and L.A. County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “Our work won’t stop here. We are focused on strategies to ensure these investments help lift our most vulnerable communities and preserve the fabric of communities who live here today.”
The path will connect the future K Line’s (Crenshaw/LAX) Fairview Heights Station, the Metro J Line’s (Silver) Slauson Station and the A Line (Blue) Slauson Station. Path amenities will include extensive landscaping, including several hundred shade trees, lights, security cameras, street furniture and wayfinding signage, among other features.
Work will transform the former Harbor Subdivision — the route of an old freight railroad — and will improve access to Hyde Park, Chesterfield Square, Harvard Park, Vermont-Slauson, South Park and Central-Alameda.
Metro is now studying a second phase of the project called “Rail to River” that will extend the path eastward to the Los Angeles River. Census data shows the corridor has some of L.A. County’s highest percentages of people who rely on transit, biking and walking to commute. Nearly 19 percent of households in the area do not have access to a car.
Metro anticipates opening the 8.5-mile K Line light rail project later this year. The K Line will extend from E Line (Expo) at Expo/Crenshaw Station and merge with C Line (Green) at Aviation/LAX Station, connecting the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood and El Segundo.
“I could not be happier to see this important active transportation project break ground,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “The Rail-to-Rail project will improve on a well-worn path thousands of people in the community used every day, improving access to transit and adding beautiful amenities to the community in the process.”