Metro is evaluating four unsolicited proposals from private firms that could accelerate two of the key projects included in the Measure M ballot initiative, which was passed by more than 70 percent of Los Angeles County voters last November.
According to an announcement on the Source, construction and engineering firms Skanska and Kiewet have submitted independent proposals which would accelerate construction of the West Santa Ana Branch, a proposed light rail line that would span 20 miles between the Gateway Cities and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. The Measure M expenditure plan had called for construction of the West Santa Ana Branch to occur in two phases, starting in 2022 and finishing by 2041. However, according to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, this arrangement could lead to the project opening in 2024, approximately 15 years ahead of schedule.
Two other groups - engineering firm Parsons and infrastructure firm Cintra - have submitted proposals to accelerate construction of the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, which was regarded as the centerpiece of Measure M. The project is divided into three components:
- Converting the 405 carpool lanes into tolled Expresslanes between the 101 and 10 freeways in order to fund construction of latter phases of the project. Measure M provides $260 million for this project, with a projected opening date between 2026 and 2028.
- A second phase would create a 8.8-mile high-capacity transit line between the Orange Line's Van Nuys Station and the Purple Line's Wilshire/Westwood Station, with a stop at the UCLA campus. Measure M provides $5.65 billion for this project, which is scheduled to open between 2033 and 2035.
- The third and final phase would extend transit service an additional 10 miles south from Wilshire/Westwood Station to the new LAX connector station at 96th Street in Westchester. Metro has scheduled the project for an opening date between 2057 and 2059, with $3.86 in contributions from Measure M.
It is currently unclear exactly how these proposals would accelerate the Sepulveda Pass project.
Another Measure M project, the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, could bring light rail service to Van Nuys Boulevard north of the Orange Line.
Two separate proposals for the Sepulveda Pass are no longer under consideration.
Metro will continue to evaluate the proposals for the Sepulveda Pass and West Santa Ana Branch, and potentially issue a request for proposals to the broader industry should they warrant further exploration.