The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Crenshaw/LAX light rail project based on Metro’s Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (EIS/EIR) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The ROD authorised Metro to go forward with project implementation including property acquisitions, utility relocations and the purchase of any rail cars needed for the project.

It also makes Metro eligible for any federal funding requested for the project.

“I would like to thank the Obama Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for being great partners on this job-creating project,” said Metro Board Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

“The Crenshaw/LAX line will not only bring light rail to the residents of South LA and the LAX area, but it will create thousands of badly needed jobs.

“This is another step forward for a Measure R project, which voters approved in 2008 and will bring LA the 21st Century transit network Angelenos deserve.

“The Record of Decision by the Federal Transit Administration marks a big step forward for the Crenshaw/LAX line,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Mark Ridley-Thomas.

“This approval means MTA can proceed in making a $1.7 billion investment in a light rail transit system, the largest in South LA’s history. In combination with our targeted hiring effort, this translates into jobs, jobs and more jobs.

“The Obama Administration should be commended for quickly moving this project forward through the environmental process.

“Metro has received terrific news with the FTA final EIR approval of the Crenshaw/LAX line,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board member Don Knabe.

“At long last, we are on the path to connecting the rail system to LAX, something riders have been demanding for years.

“In the longer-term, this approval also supports our efforts to connect and increase links throughout the system, something that will be very important to projects like the South Bay Green Line Extension.

“This news brings us one step closer to enhancing mobility throughout the Los Angeles region.”

The 8.5 mile long light rail project will run between the Expo Line on Exposition Boulevard and the Metro Green Line.

It will serve the Crenshaw Corridor, Inglewood, Westchester, and LAX area with six stations, a maintenance facility, park and ride lots, traction power substations and the acquisition of rail vehicles and maintenance equipment.

Metro issued in late December a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a design/build contract, the first step in a procurement process for design/build contractors for the line.

The project is schedule to open in late 2018.