The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission on Wednesday ordered a new study phase for a proposed San Fernando Valley light-rail line, in part to get better cost estimates.
The panel directed consultants and staff engineers to provide detailed cost and engineering data on use of Chandler Boulevard or Burbank Boulevard for the eastern end of the trolley line, and on three possible track alignments through the Warner Center area on the western end.
The commission also took the advice of its rapid-transit committee and refused to discard Victory Boulevard as a possible eastern leg for the 14.3-mile line, which could be built within 10 years. Commission staff members had argued that construction of the line on Victory would be so costly and disruptive that it did not deserve further study. But the commission agreed with the committee that a Victory route should be held in reserve in case Chandler and Burbank prove unworkable.
Summer Report Foreseen
Steve Lantz, community relations officer for the commission, said Bechtel National Corp., the agency’s consultant, should complete the cost and engineering study sometime this summer. Between then and fall, Lantz said, the commission’s staff will recommend a route and hold community meetings to discuss its choice.
The proposed trolley line would link Canoga Park with the planned Metro Rail station at Lankershim and Chandler boulevards in North Hollywood. Commission officials have said the line could carry 50,000 passengers a day if linked to downtown by Metro Rail or some other rail line, and could cost from $300 million to $800 million to build. One goal of the second study phase is to put a more specific price on the route alternatives.
For the most part, the line would operate on existing Southern Pacific railroad right of way. The commission is negotiating to acquire the right of way, which now handles light freight traffic.
The commission was presented copies of three motions adopted Tuesday night by the Burbank City Council, calling on the agency to consider extending the light-rail line eastward into Burbank and possibly into Glendale.
Commission officials have said that studies of a Burbank extension should be paid for by that city because the line was not on the rail corridor maps presented to county voters when they approved the transportation sales tax in 1980.
The tax is being used to finance transportation improvements, including a proposed 150-mile rail network of which the Valley line would be a part.