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Here Comes the Expo Line

The Expo Line is gearing up to debut Phase 1—8.6 miles of track between downtown and Culver City. Here, some players who’ve helped determine its course since crews broke ground in 2006. 

The politician: County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who authored Propostion A in 1998 to kill future subway development by forbidding the use of county sales tax revenue, is now more than a convert; he’s chair of the Expo Board.

The activist: Decrying the dangers of street-level train crossings, Damien Goodmon led the fight to put the tracks above- or belowground in South L.A. Instead a pedestrian bridge was added near Dorsey High and a stop by Foshay Learning Center.

The people: If the projection comes true that 64,000 people will ride daily by 2030, the lightrail line could rank among the nation’s busiest. The 6.6-mile Phase 2 is slated to open in 2015 with a $1.5 billion price tag funded mostly by Measure R.

The executive: Exposition Construction Authority head Richard Thorpe finished the Pasadena Gold Line on time and on budget. This project? Due in part to design changes, it’s about $300 million overbudget and two years behind.

The judge: Neighbors for Smart Rail sued to delay construction of Phase 2, to Colorado and 4th, citing traffic and safety issues. L.A. Superior Court judge Thomas McKnew’s rejection of the suit in February was a major Expo victory. NFSR is appealing.