Advance utility work starts on East San Fernando Valley light rail project

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California Construction News staff writer

A groundbreaking was held to launch advanced utility work on the first segment of the East San Fernando Valley light rail project, the first rail line to be built in the Valley since the original Metro Red Line subway was extended to North Hollywood in 2000.

Here’s a video of the event.

The 6.7-mile light rail line, with an estimated cost of estimated $1.6 to $2 billion will connect Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta and Pacoima along Van Nuys Boulevard.

Metro has issued a $9-million contract to W.A. Rasic Construction Company, Inc. of Long Beach to begin relocating existing Los Angeles Department of Water & Power vaults and associated conduit infrastructure along Van Nuys Boulevard in advance of major construction. Metro anticipates awarding its main construction contract early next year. The first rail segment between Van Nuys and Pacoima is scheduled to open between 2028 and 2030.

Another 2.5-mile segment is planned to extend from Pacoima to the Sylmar/San Fernando Metrolink Station.

Design options for that project segment are now under study and will be built in a second construction phase.

The start of advanced utility work marks a significant new milestone in Metro’s goal to bring street-running, local stop rail service back to the San Fernando Valley after 70 years. The last Pacific Electric Red Cars discontinued service along Van Nuys Boulevard in 1952.

Metro’s new rail line is planned to connect with both the Van Nuys Metrolink/Amtrak Station as well as the Metrolink station at Sylmar/San Fernando to provide Metro transit customers with greater interregional connectivity.

The rail line’s first construction phase will travel along the median of Van Nuys Boulevard and include 11 new stations that will connect the cities of Van Nuys, Panorama City, Arleta and Pacoima. Destinations available along the new line will include the Van Nuys Civic Center, Panorama Mall, Van Nuys multi-residential housing complexes and Arleta High School, among others. The rail line will also provide key linkages with Metro bus lines, including the G Line (Orange) in Van Nuys and municipally operated bus lines.

The second planned phase of the rail line will turn northwest on the Metro-owned right-of-way along San Fernando Road and connect to the City of San Fernando, adding three new stops there.

The East San Fernando Valley Light Rail Transit Project is just one of the transit improvements Metro has planned to improve mobility in the San Fernando Valley over the next 10 years.

Other projects include the North San Fernando Transit Corridor Project, the G Line Improvements Project and the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project. Projects are partially funded through Metro’s local Measure M voter-approved sales tax measure, which funds transportation improvements throughout Los Angeles County.

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