Metro Board Approves Shorter Alternative for East Side Corridor, Is Federal Funding at Risk?

December 6, 2022

By Brian Hews • [email protected]

The Metro Board of Directors, at its December 1 meeting, approved an extension of the Metro Gold Line from East Los Angeles to Whittier, choosing the shorter Alternative 3 as the Initial Operating Segment (IOS) of the project.

The Gold Line will be extended further east from its current terminus at Pomona/Atlantic in East Los Angeles to the Greenwood station in Montebello.

It is much shorter than Alternative Two, which would have traversed additional portions of Montebello and Pico Rivera, terminating at Lambert Blvd in Whittier.

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Alternative 3 will begin at the Atlantic/Pomona terminus on the Gold Line and terminate at the Greenwood Station in Montebello. The selected line is 4.6 miles, with four stations, and includes design options at the Atlantic/Pomona station, a Montebello alignment and storage and maintenance facility site options, and the Greenwood station.

For the past several years, Metro has been evaluating the nine-mile extension of the Gold Line from its current terminus at Pomona and Atlantic boulevards to Whittier via Washington Boulevard. When built, the new line will serve the cities of Commerce, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, and the unincorporated communities of East Los Angeles and West Whittier-Los Nietos.

The Board approved the Lambert Station in Whittier as the completion of the entire nine-mile project and authorized the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the entire project and to have the project ready for construction in 2029 as scheduled. in Measure M the transportation sales tax measure approved by the voters in 2016.

In a statement, the Board said Alt. 3 was the best alternative, “this option better meets the needs of communities by having fewer impacts related to construction, traffic, noise and property acquisition. This alternative also has more environmental benefits and provides additional regional connectivity.”

“It is important that we finally deliver this project from East Los Angeles through Commerce to Pico Rivera and Whittier. This is just one more step to get there and we will get this project done as soon as possible to offer single-seat travel for these communities to downtown Los Angeles and beyond,” said the Los Angeles County Supervisor. Los Angeles and Metro Board Member Janice Hahn.

“We work with all the communities along this corridor to make sure we listen to their concerns and needs and recommend the best possible alignment for the Eastern Transit Corridor. The locally preferred alternative will add rail connectivity and greatly improve transportation options in this corridor,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “

“That’s interesting,” an expert observer who did not want to be named told HMG-CN, “They [the Board] in bad shape by not planning to get federal funding from the start, and now with money available, they didn’t go through the NEPA process. To apply for federal funds, organizations must go through NEPA; they are just beginning the process now. The money will be gone before they are completed.”

NEPA is the National Environmental Policy Act; it is designed to help citizens and organizations who are concerned about the environmental effects of federal decision-making.

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