L.A. will pay $2 million to continue airport light rail connection

Compiled by Gary Walker

The Los Angeles City Council will pay out more than $2 million to El Segundo as part of a settlement agreement over plans to modernize and bring public transportation to LAX, avoiding a potentially lengthy court battle.

El Segundo had threatened to file suit against Los Angeles World Airports over impacts of its Landside Access Modernization Program, which will connect passenger terminals to the expanding Crenshaw/LAX light rail line and a car rental/parking hub via a people mover.

The settlement includes $1.9 million for rehabilitation and preventive maintenance work on portions of Imperial Highway between Aviation Boulevard and Vista Del Mar, a street parking study with a budget of up to $50,000, and a $20,000 payout to El Segundo for a consultant for that parking study.

In a Nov. 13 memo, Los Angeles Chief Assistant City Attorney David Michaelson recommend that the council pursue discussions with El Segundo’s legal representatives regarding that city’s appeal of the EIR and “El Segundo’s threat to file a CEQA (California Environmental l Impact Report) in Superior Court.”

“I’m excited that it’s finally been resolved,” said L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, whose district includes Westchester and LAX. “This gives us the green light to continue aggressively forward on our landside plans. This is the last roadblock to improving congestion in and around the airport.