LA confirms $133m transit contracts

Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project includes rail and monorail solutions for busy road routes
Mobility as a Service / April 5, 2021
By Ben Spencer
LA Metro Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project LA SkyRail Express monorail
LA SkyRail Express has $63.6m to further develop its proposed monorail concept (© Pranodh Mongkolthavorn |

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved two contracts with a combined value of $133 million for pre-development work on the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project.

This project is planned to connect the San Fernando Valley with the Westside and eventually LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) via a high-speed, transit line.

LA Metro says the primary travel option for most people currently is driving the I-405 freeway through the Sepulveda Pass, which is one of the most congested roadways in the US. 

Engineering company Bechtel and a team of private partners received $69.9m contract to further develop a heavy rail transit solution concept. More than 60% of the heavy rail would travel underground, with the remainder of the line travelling primarily in an aerial section. 

A Valley to Westside trip is expected to take under 20 minutes while the estimated costs for construction are at $10.8 billion. 

In a separate contract, LA SkyRail Express was awarded $63.6m to further develop its proposed monorail concept that would be an aerial alignment primarily within the I-405 right-of-way between the Valley and Westside. 

Proposed travel times via monorail are estimated at 24 minutes and the proposal cost for building the solution is at $6.1bn. 

LA SkyRail Express is a team consisting of infrastructure investor John Laing, BYD, Skanska and HDR Engineering. 

LA Metro plans to begin the environmental review process this autumn, where these concept designs and other alternatives will be advanced or refined through ongoing public feedback and technical investigation and analysis.

The authority retains the ability to continue the partnership through final design with one of the private sector teams if its transit concept is consistent with the project's locally preferred alternative (LPA) that will be selected by the authority's board. 

Once the LPA is selected, one of the private sector teams may have an opportunity to submit a proposal to build and potentially help finance the project. 

LA Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington says: “As we work diligently to create a world-class transportation system here in the Los Angeles region, we will also be creating a new market for infrastructure innovation that can potentially help us build the most challenging project Metro will ever tackle.”

The Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project has received $9.5bn in funding from Measure M and other local, state and federal sources. 

Measure M is the transportation sales tax approved by 71% of Los Angeles County voters in 2016.

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