Aerial Light Rail Station Plus Link to Culver City ApprovedBy Ari L. Noonan @ 2:00 PM November 29, 2007
City Hall can exhale and breathe easier.
As of this afternoon, Culver City’s long dreamed of but never confirmed aerial light rail station stands to be built, now that funding — $50 million worth — has been approved.
Further, $145 million in funding for the final link in the light rail route — from mid-town into Culver City — in financial jeopardy a month ago, also was approved.
The most encouraging light rail news Culver City has heard in months came early this afternoon when the 15-member Metro Board voted unanimously to use funds provided by Prop. 1B to proceed with both critical components of the massive $800 million line.
A recent surge in construction costs had plunged both the aerial station and the link to Culver City into doubt.
After that temporary setback in October, the 9-mile light rail scheme, from downtown Los Angeles to Culver City, stands to be completed by the latest anticipated date, 2010.
Malsin Feeling Triumphant
Ever upbeat, Scott Malsin, chair of the Culver City Redevelopment Agency, was in an even more jubilant frame of mind than usual when the double Culver City victory became official, just after the lunch hour.
“This is the happiest moment I have had since being elected to the City Council, and I am sure it will still figure that importantly when I leave office,” Mr. Malsin said.
Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld told the newspaper from City Hall that “we are so happy up here, we are line dancing. This is wonderful because until (Metro’s vote) we had a transportation-based project without knowing where we stood on the transportation end.”
Segueing into a puckish smile, Mr. Blumenfeld said that “a transportation-oriented development, without transportation, is not likely to win any awards.”
He paused for a moment. “Maybe it would,” he added.
For a reason that may have escaped the attention of others, Mr. Malsin said he had been optimistic in recent days about gaining double approval. “When items of this size get to the agenda of a governing authority,” he said, “there is a good chance they will be successful.”
Mr. Malsin said that as officials move ever closer to locking in contracts with all parties, it will have the effect of finally capping what some have termed runaway costs.