One of the first major construction projects for the extension of Expo Line tracks to Santa Monica will begin next week, as construction begins on a replacement for a decades-old railroad overpass, Metro officials said.
The old Southern Pacific rail bridge over National Boulevard in Palms is one of two single-track overpasses that must be torn out and replaced with a modern double-track bridge. The other is at Motor Avenue.
Starting Monday, crews will restripe the intersections of National Boulevard at Manning Avenue and at Exposition Boulevard. Traffic on the westbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway offramp to National will also be realigned, Metro officials said.
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Some left turns at those intersections will be prohibited during the year-long construction project. Some traffic lanes will also be temporarily closed, a construction notice stated.
Metro officials pledged to monitor and reduce excessive noise and dust, and said access to local businesses at the busy intersections will be maintained.
The $1.5 billion Expo Line extension, scheduled for completion in 2015, will allow light rail trains to travel from downtown Los Angeles past the current terminus, in Culver City, to downtown Santa Monica.
Construction is also underway on the ``Regional Connector'' which will extend the Expo and Blue lines under the L.A. Civic Center to allow through-train service to Pasadena and east Los Angeles.
MTA estimates that 64,000 people will use the 15.2 mile Expo Line daily once it is completed.
Some residents have sued to force trains to be carried on new viaducts over some streets in West Los Angeles, but the state Court of Appeak ruled against that. The state Supreme Court has accepted the case for review.