Regional Connector Station  Could Get Pedestrian Bridge

A rendering of the proposed pedestrian bridge at the Regional Connector’s Second and Hope streets station.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - As plans move ahead for the $1.366 billion Regional Connector, a potential new design element is coming into focus: a pedestrian bridge at the proposed Second and Hope streets station.

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At a meeting of the Regional Connector Community Leadership Council on Tuesday, Nov. 12, Olga Arroyo, Metro’s construction relations manager for regional communications, said currently the best cost guesstimate for a bridge connecting to the plaza of the coming Broad art museum would be $7.8 million, though it would not be funded by Metro. She added that the agency added the bridge to the station at the behest of Bunker Hill stakeholders.

However, some big issues remain. Area inhabitants and business interests want a specific cost breakdown, one that reveals the price for the bridge itself, and the price for the project’s proposed second level.

Plans call for having elevators stop both at ground level and 23 feet above Hope Street, at the same level as the Broad’s proposed plaza deck. The entrance would be at Second and Hope streets, and a series of elevators would take patrons 77 feet below street level to the station concourse.

A contract for the station is expected to be awarded by April. 

Leadership Committee members said the pedestrian bridge is vital for safety and traffic flow improvement. John Welborne, a member of the council and president of the Angels Flight Railway Association, warned that not going forward with a bridge would be equivalent to the long-ago decision not to connect Metro trains directly to LAX.

The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile underground light rail route that, when completed, will provide a one-seat, one-fare ride for commuters from Azusa to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica. Travelers will no longer need to transfer between rail lines for major east/west and north/south trips. It is scheduled to open in 2020.

In addition to Second and Hope, stations will be at Second Street and Broadway and First Street and Central Avenue. 

The leadership committee will assemble a marketing package for the project, specifically citing a list of benefits of having the pedestrian bridge. 

donna@downtownnews.com

© Los Angeles Downtown News 2013