Local elected and transportation officials are calling for the continued construction of the Expo Line light rail from Culver City to Santa Monica despite ongoing challenges by a homeowners group.
A motion filed by the Neighbors for Smart Rail is seeking to bring Expo construction to a standstill on the $1.5 billion Phase 2 project.
Elected officials, including Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom, and Exposition Construction Authority representatives were joined by labor leaders and construction workers Oct. 22 to insist that the construction carry on. Work on the project is well underway along the entire Phase 2 corridor, including construction of multiple bridges and major structural elements, and officials say halting the project would lead to economic impacts.
“Granting an injunction will deliver a devastating blow to Los Angeles County communities already hard hit by the recession,” said Expo board chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. “These communities have double-digit unemployment rates and delaying the project would only send hundreds of local construction workers back to the unemployment line.”
Expo board member and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas added, “Delaying the project for a year would cost $90 million and result in the loss of more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. The harm to the economy, local jobs and our efforts to build a modern transit system would be substantial.”
Expo Construction Authority CEO Rick Thorpe said officials are confident that the California Supreme Court will allow construction of Expo Phase 2 to continue.
The motion filed by the neighbors group is currently pending a Supreme Court decision on their appeal and there is no date for the Supreme Court to hear the case. Prior challenges by the group have been denied by the Superior Court and state Appellate Court.