SANTA MONICA, Calif.–A groundbreaking ceremony was held today in Santa Monica for the Expo Line Phase 2 project, which will extend the light rail line from Culver City to Santa Monica.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was among the dignitaries helping to turn dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking event at Colorado Avenue and Fourth Street–the planned terminus of the line.
He said the extension of the line is a major milestone “when you look at the (9,000) or 10,000 jobs that will be created just with this phase alone, finally connecting downtown to Santa Monica.”
Metro officials hope that the 6.6-mile extension will be completed in 2015, although delays are commonplace in projects of this scope. It will mainly run along the Exposition Boulevard right-of-way.
The first phase of the line, which will run from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, is expected to open later this year. That project has suffered from cost overruns and delays, but Metro officials said they are better prepared for the second phase.
“We have a contingency now, where it was pretty small on phase one,” Expo Construction Authority CEO Richard Thorpe told ABC7. “Now on phase two, it’s much higher to take care of unknowns.”
The $1.5 billion project will include seven transit stations.