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"Metro is preparing to close the 22-mile Blue Line for a total of eight months next year to complete the modernization of the transit agency’s oldest train line," reports Steve Scauzillo. The closures will actually be broken into two, four-month segments. The southern half will be closed first, starting in January. The northern half will be closed after improvements on the first half of the project are complete.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will spend $300 million on improvements while the line is closed. "The agency plans to add four new switches that allow trains to move quicker, new signals, new tracks in downtown Long Beach and improvements at street level intersections, especially at the Washington Boulevard and Flower Street junction near downtown Los Angeles where cars have crashed into trains, causing significant delays," explains Scauzillo. "A major portion of the project will include tearing down and rebuilding the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station in Compton, the fourth busiest station in the Metro light-rail system and where Blue Line passengers transfer to the Green Line, an east-west line paralleling the 105 Freeway."
The changes will remove ten minutes from travel times between Los Angeles and Long Beach. The main talking point favored by Metro officials when justifying this project, however, is bringing the route into "good repair."