By: Emilie St. John
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. has formally requested that funds earmarked for a planned grade separation of the Crenshaw/LAX (K-Line) be reallocated for the Inglewood Transit Connector project.
Butts submitted the motion to the South Bay Cities Council of Governments Transportation Committee on March 13.
The planned project was for the Centinela Grade Separation on the K-Line at the intersection of Centinela and Florence.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) anticipated the cost to be $300 million but according to Butts’ motion, the project was not fully funded.
Inglewood submitted a draft motion and draft letter requesting SBCCOG join them in a request for L. A. Metro to cancel the Centinela Grade Separation Project (CGSP), and to re-program South Bay Measure M Multi-Year Sub-Regional Equity Program (SB MM SEP) funding currently allocated to the CGSP to create a reserve for contingencies (“backstop”) in the Inglewood Transit Center Project (ITCP) funding plan.
The Inglewood Transit Connector (ITC) project was initially expected to cost $1.2 billion to construct but has now increased by $400 million. The City has secured roughly $765 million from multiple sources.
“The City of Inglewood is now recommending that the Centinela Grade Separation (CGS) project be canceled due to higher than expected costs and conflict with the Inglewood Transit Connector Project and cancellation of the CGS would de-commit $107.5 million in South bay Multi-Year Sub-Regional Equity Program funding available – $130 million (in 2015$) less $22.5 million for the South Bay share of the Crenshaw – LAX Project overrun.”
Inglewood has received $20 million in federal funds through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) RAISE Grant and the Department of Transportation, approx. $512 million in state funds, and $234 million from Los Angeles County taxpayers from Measure M sales tax revenue which voters approved in November 2016.
The City also explained they are seeking a Federal Capital Improvement Grant and funding from the Entertainment District private owners and financing from project design/construction proposers.
The next step is for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) to take up the project in their April Transportation Committee meeting.
“The item is scheduled to be discussed at our April transportation committee meeting. They would make any recommendation on the request to our Board of Directors, who would then discuss it at their April 27th meeting,” said David Leger, Senior Project Manager with SBCCOG. “Any Board action would then be transmitted to Metro. However, I’m unsure as to how/when Metro would be taking up the item.”
Inglewood has scheduled a Public Hearing on April 4 for the Draft Business Relocation Plan that will displace 44 small businesses that are located along the proposed route of the ITC.
During a March 14 presentation to the Inglewood City Council, some members of the council voiced their concerns over the proposed displacement of the Vons grocery store which is conveniently situated to multiple Senior Housing locations in the immediate area.
“The transit connector requires a maintenance facility and we are looking into alternative locations for it to be located,” explained Lisa Trifiletti, with Trifiletti Consulting who is the lead on the project.
Current plans call for the maintenance facility to be co-located with Vons at the intersection of Hillcrest and Manchester. It was initially slated to be placed where Kelso Elementary school is but those plans were scrapped.
The ITC project will cut through Inglewood Council Districts 1 and 3 which are currently represented by Councilmen George Dotson and Eloy Morales Jr.
Dotson lost his bid for re-election during the March 7 runoff against West Basin water board member Gloria Gray. Morales and Councilwoman Dionne Faulk are up for reelection next year.
The County certified the District 1 runoff election March 17 which gives Inglewood City Clerk Aisha Thompson 14 days to swear Gray into office.
Gray is expected to take her seat by the April 4 regular city council meeting but she has yet to resign from her seats on the West Basin and Metropolitan Water District boards.
A recent article on Gray’s election to the city council eludes to her remaining in her West Basin board seat until her term ends in 2026.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney has brought charges against two local city council members for holding a council and water board seat simultaneously.
Former Carson Mayor Albert Robles lost his case and was removed from the Water Replenishment District board and LaPuente Councilman David Ardugo is fighting the DA against his eventual removal from the La Puente Valley County Water District.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist for 2UrbanGirls.com, the South Bay Examiner, and contributing writer for the Los Angeles Wave newspaper.
There is despicable and then there is the idea of prioritizing out of torn tourists over the health and safety of local school age students and park going young people’s lives!!
Well at least this should erase all doubt who it is the city council serves, Sadly while they please the billionaires Inglewood residents are paying their salaries.
How many think this maybe sufficient motive to work toward a recall?
That James Butts and the eager to please billionaire council members did not have the common sense to require sufficient parking on the bigger than Disneyland property on the Stadium site should not mean the Community especially children accessing the school at St Johns’s or the park is inexcusable!