Rosa Park station (267216)

The start of major improvements to the Metro Blue Line’s Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station was announced recently by Metro officials, who said the construction will transform the fourth-busiest station in the rail system.

“The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station has been used by millions of people over the years and it’s time to prepare the station for many more decades of heavy use,’’ Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. “The community deserves a better station and I’m pleased to see this very important work finally getting underway.’’

Metro said of the $109 million improvement project is funded by a combination of local money and state and federal grants, and the project will include a customer service center, transit security center, bike hub and self-cleaning, automated public restrooms.

Metro said the open-air plaza has also been designed as a public resource to be used for community events, special exhibits, celebrations and movie nights.

Early construction work is scheduled to be done over the rest of this year.

In early January, the station will close for eight to nine months as part of the $350 million New Blue project to modernize the Blue Line, which opened in 1990 and is Metro’s oldest light rail line. Rail service to the station will be replaced by bus shuttles during the closure.

“The Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Station Improvement Project is a welcome addition to the Willowbrook community and a positive step toward a more equitable transportation system,’’ said U.S. Rep. Nanette Barragan (CA-44). “Safe, reliable, and affordable public transportation helps families better connect to education and job opportunities. My constituents throughout the 44th Congressional District will benefit greatly.’’