DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Alameda Street is one of the most heavily used transit corridors in the region. It has also long been one of the bumpiest rides in Downtown, thanks to a surfeit of potholes and uneven pavement.
The culprit behind Alameda's ruddy surface is a section of old, long-defunct rail track embedded in the street. Safety regulations and concerns about potentially hazardous materials made the removal of the tracks cost-prohibitive in the past.
Now, the metal is coming out. Over the past two months, the Bureau of Street Services, in partnership with 14th District City Councilman José Huizar, performed a series of trials and concluded that their system for removing the tracks is safe.
Now the effort is on to remove all remaining track on Alameda between First and Seventh streets, said Huizar spokesman Rick Coca.
The project cost is estimated at $900,000. The track is expected to be removed entirely on that seven-block stretch by spring 2012, and Huizar representatives said they will push for the resurfacing work to be done as soon as possible.
The section of Alameda Street between Seventh Street and the California (10) Freeway is slated for full track removal in 2017.