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LOCAL : County Agency Weighs Go-Ahead on S.F. Valley Rail Route Studies

From Times staff and wire service reports

The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission is meeting today to decide which San Fernando Valley rail routes to study amid warnings that changes in the options under consideration could force postponement of a Valley line until the next century.

The 11-member commission is scheduled to vote whether to authorize the final phase of a state-mandated $2.1-million engineering and environmental study of cross-Valley route options.

The study results, expected no sooner than January, are to serve as the basis for designating a route and determining whether the system should be light rail or an extension of the Metro Rail subway system. The commission has about $800 million available to build one more rail system over the next 11 years.

However, environmental studies on two competing light-rail projects--downtown-to-Pasadena and Marina del Rey to the western terminus of the Century Freeway--are nearly completed and commissioners predict that officials from those areas will soon begin lobbying for the available funds.

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Valley routes under consideration are the Ventura Freeway right-of-way from the planned Universal City Metro Rail station to Warner Center and a Southern Pacific railroad freight right-of-way that parallels Chandler and Victory boulevards between Metro Rail’s northern terminus on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood and Warner Center.


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