San Diego

Train Line Construction Recalls Yet Another ‘Carmageddon'

A proposed Metro Line along the Sepulveda Pass is welcomed news to many commuters but those who lived through Metro's last major project in the area are worried about a repeat.

The idea of a train between the San Fernando Valley and Westwood sounds very appealing to people who do that brutal commute every day. People think it could bolster business and improve the quality of life. But there's also a fear that history could repeat itself?

Remember Carmageddon, the 405 widening project that went overtime and overbudget? Some Westwood residents say it was a disaster.

"They endured years of disruption, 24-hour construction, sleepless nights, the beep beep beep of the trucks going," said Steve Sann, who sits on the Westwood Community Council.

They fear a repeat. Metro is proposing a light rail or subway train, with the goal of reducing traffic on the 405, which now sees some 400,000 drivers a day. To commuters, the idea sounds great.

The cost — at least $18 billion dollars. The 405 train would meet the Purple Line extension, now under construction from downtown to Westwood. It could be great for businesses, say Westwood leaders, if they survive the construction.

Metro says if a new transit line is built along the 405, there will be relief for those impacted.

"We did a really good job of working with communities and be considerate of neighborhoods," said Dave Sotero, a Metro spokesman. "You can expect the same type of community mitigations when we begin this project."

Officials hope to finish the train by the 2028 Olympics.

Metro is having three upcoming meetings for public input on the proposed project, the first Thursday night at Westwood United Methodist Church.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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