Pacific Standard Time USA

Delays plague the opening of LA's light railway

The line is due to connect the downtown area with Culver City

Metro Rail tested trains on the Expo Line this July

LOS ANGELES. Delays continue to plague the opening of Los Angeles’ Expo Line, a light railway that aims to connect the city’s downtown area with Culver City, a commercial gallery hub that is home to the likes of Blum & Poe and David Kordansky galleries.

Works were due to be completed this year, however recently announced setbacks are likely to push back the opening of the line to 2012. A battle between Culver City and the Exposition Construction Authority, who claims it is owed $3.9m in construction costs, has contributed to the delay. Culver City refuses to pay the sum unless the authority builds the station in accordance with its vision.

Other subway systems that are due to connect other art districts are well underway, said Maya Emsden, the deputy executive officer of creative services at Metro, which is the main operator of Los Angeles’ bus and rail services. Metro is due to take over ownership of the line from the Exposition Construction Authority once it is completed.

Despite the state of California’s budget deficit, which is currently ranked as the nation’s largest at $26.6 billion, she said: “All of our other projects are moving along quickly.” The momentum is the result of the city’s decision to implement a law, Measure R, which taxes residents 0.5% to improve traffic in the city.

The Purple Line, which is still under discussion, is due to link the downtown area with the city’s museum corridor, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) and the Craft and Folk Art Museum. “In 30 years we have built 90 stations,” said Emsden. “Our transportation programme is the biggest in the country and we are confident it will keep on growing.”

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