Property Owners Try to Block Downtown L.A. Subway Construction

Fearing years of costly disruption from the construction of a key link connecting the region's rail systems, some of downtown L.A.'s largest property owners are suing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
December 18, 2012, 11am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Although many of the property owners agree that the $1.4-billion Regional Connector will benefit them after its scheduled completion in 2019, several are suing the MTA because they object to how the agency plans to construct the project, reports Roger Vincent. "Influential landowners said they want the city to do more of the work underground to connect separate subway lines into one seamless system. The MTA said it was technologically impossible because of some unusual construction barriers."

"Predictably, this clash of potent forces — transportation and real estate — has spawned lawsuits that threaten to delay the project and potentially add millions to the cost."

While the MTA proposes a "cut and cover" construction method utilizing a four-story-deep trench along "more than two busy city blocks of the financial district" due to the barriers, property owners prefer the less disruptive tunnel-boring method being used for most of the 1.9-mile project.

"What's clear is that the subway has put some of the city's most civic-minded property owners, who helped spawn downtown's renaissance, in the awkward position of opposing a highly popular project that they, in fact, want," says Vincent.

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Published on Saturday, December 15, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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