Monorail or Heavy Rail Planned for L.A.'s Busy Connection Between the Valley and the Westside

It' down to two options for a rail transit connection over the Sepulveda Pass, following the path of Interstate 405 between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside of Los Angeles.

February 17, 2021, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Westside Los Angeles

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has narrowed down the options for a rail transit along Interstate 405 through the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles.

Steven Sharp shares the details included of a staff report scheduled for release on February 18 that recommends funding for two competing contractors to begin pre-development work. A $63.6-million contract would fund work by LA SkyRail Express to study a monorail concept for the route. A $69.8-million contract would fund Sepulveda Transit Corridor Partners – Bechtel to study a heavy rail system across the pass.

Both proposals would run on aerial tracks for sone or all of the route, though the Bechtel proposal would also include a tunnel for a portion of the route.

The staff report reduces the number of potential alternatives for the route from four to two. Sharp has been following closely the evolution of the plans for the highly anticipated capital investment, including articles in January and July of 2019. Planetizen last picked up the news about the project in January 2019, when much of the media discussion about the project focused on the engineering challenges of routing a rail line across the Sepulveda's steep grades and wealthy enclaves. A collection of existing and planned transit projects awaits on either side of the pass. The Metro D Line (née Purple Line) is expending heavy rail subway service from Koreatown deep into the Westside. In the San Fernando Valley, the East San Fernando Light Rail line is expected to start construction in 2022.

Click through to the source article to see renderings of the two remaining concepts.

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