Over the years, four light rail transit (LRT) lines have been built to serve the sprawling city of Los Angeles, each one ending at the edge of the downtown Los Angeles area. Since the 1980s, plans have been discussed for a rail link that would provide easy transfers between the city’s north-west and east-south LRT systems.
The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile (3-kilometer) trunk line that will run from the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station on the Gold Line to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown LA. The line will serve Little Tokyo/Arts District, Civic Center/Broadway, Grand Avenue/Bunker Hill, and the Financial District.
Challenges to the project include the need to reduce noise and vibration at a prestigious music school and the Disney Concert Hall, and to avoid disrupting the operation of the existing Gold Line. Because of seismic activity in Southern California, the line must be designed to be earthquake-resilient.
LA Metro selected the Contractor Joint Venture of Skanska/Traylor with Mott MacDonald as the prime designer for this major and highly complex design-build delivery project. Our scope of work includes the following:
- One mile of twin bored tunnels
- Nearly one mile of cut-and-cover guideway tunnel
- First crossover cavern on the metro system
- Three underground stations
- Three cross-passages
- Ventilation, power, and communication systems
- Civil, roadway, and utility work
- Direct fixation track, four double crossovers, and floating slab track in sensitive areas requiring mitigation of noise and vibration
Building information modeling (BIM) is being used to design stations and cut-and-cover tunnels: the first 3D design delivery to be used for the LA Metro system..
LA Metro estimates that the Regional Connector will open in 2020 and handle 60,000 or more trips each weekday. When completed, the line will allow for a single seat ride throughout Los Angeles County and will link LA Metro’s entire 80-station system to Southern California’s regional passenger rail system (Metrolink), which services 55 stations.
The new Metro Rail connection will offer an alternative transportation option to congested roadways and provide significant environmental benefits, economic development, and employment opportunities throughout Los Angeles County.