Citing extensive safety improvements, state regulators Thursday cleared the way for completion of the first leg of the Expo light rail project by approving a controversial street-level crossing next to Dorsey High School.
In its decision, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted recommendations made in June by one of the agency’s hearing officers, who supported a revised plan that called for two station platforms, speed restrictions for trains, motor vehicle gates and other safety improvements for a proposed rail crossing at Farmdale Avenue and Exposition Boulevard.
The plan to lay track at street level near Dorsey has been opposed for years by some neighborhood associations, students, teachers, Dorsey alumni and community activists who contend that elevated tracks are needed to eliminate an unacceptable accident risk for pedestrians and motorists.
After the commission rejected an initial design for the crossing in 2009, Expo officials added more safety measures as part of a settlement agreement between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Estimated to cost $900 million, the Expo Line’s first phase will run 8.6 miles from downtown L.A. to Culver City via Exposition Boulevard.
Construction is scheduled to be completed next year.