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State Supreme Court Rejects Halt On Expo Line Rail From Culver City To Santa Monica

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A construction worker moves a piece of concrete with a crane as work continues on the first phase of the Exposition Light Rail Transit Line (Expo Line) that will connect downtown Los Angeles and Culver City on July 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The light rail Expo Line will travel along the Exposition railroad right-of-way and run approximately 8.6 miles in length in an attempt to relieve the heavily congested Interstate 10 freeway. The state of California has been given over 3.7 billion in stimulus to address transportation and infrastructure problems. It's estimated that approximately $100 billion is needed to address current bridge deficiencies in the U.S. and of the $48 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding designated to the DOT, $27.6 billion, or 57 percent, has gone so far for highway and bridge infrastructure projects. (credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A construction worker moves a piece of concrete with a crane as work continues on the first phase of the Exposition Light Rail Transit Line (Expo Line) that will connect downtown Los Angeles and Culver City on July 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The light rail Expo Line will travel along the Exposition railroad right-of-way and run approximately 8.6 miles in length in an attempt to relieve the heavily congested Interstate 10 freeway. The state of California has been given over 3.7 billion in stimulus to address transportation and infrastructure problems. It’s estimated that approximately $100 billion is needed to address current bridge deficiencies in the U.S. and of the $48 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding designated to the DOT, $27.6 billion, or 57 percent, has gone so far for highway and bridge infrastructure projects. (credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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textalerts180 State Supreme Court Rejects Halt On Expo Line Rail From Culver City To Santa Monica

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bid by Westside homeowners’ groups to halt construction of the second phase of the Expo Line light rail from Culver City to Santa Monica has been rejected by the state Supreme Court, who ruled that the environmental impact report on the project was sufficient.

The ruling, which was made 6-1, clears the way for construction of the $1.5 billion project to proceed. The 6.6-mile extension of the rail line is expected to be completed sometime in late 2015.

“We are gratified that the California Supreme Court has affirmed the lower court rulings,” Expo Construction Authority CEO Rick Thorpe said. “Today’s decision is a win for taxpayers and the future riders who will soon benefit from a direct connection between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. We remain focused on finishing the Expo Lien on time and on budget in 2015.”

Eight bridges along the route are already under construction.

A homeowners’ coalition, called Neighbors for Smart Rail, argued that the construction authority used hypothetical 2030 traffic conditions as a baseline to measure the Expo Line’s potential effects on traffic as well as air quality on the Westside. The group asserted that it should have been presented with present-day conditions and that the Expo Authority failed to mitigate anticipated parking problems around the proposed stations.

Among others, the group includes the West of Westwood Homeowners Association, Westwood Gardens Civic Association, Cheviot Hills Homeowners Association, and Tract 7260 Homeowners Association.

The court’s decision was supported by County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, stating that the ruling “has cleared the last legal hurdle and allowed us to proceed full speed ahead to completing the Expo light rail lane from Culver City to Santa Monica.”

“With this litigation now behind us, Westside residents can look forward to an exciting new public transit option when the Expo Line is scheduled to open in 2015,” Yaroslavsky said.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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