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Federal loan to speed work on Crenshaw light-rail line

October 15, 2010 |  2:48 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s effort to accelerate construction of local transit projects advanced Friday when the federal government announced that it would loan $546 million for a planned light-rail project that would run from the Crenshaw district to a station near Los Angeles International Airport.

The assistance is the first federal commitment to the mayor’s so-called 30/10 initiative, which calls for speeding up the completion dates of 12 transit projects planned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, including the Westside subway extension.

"This is a substantial down payment," said Villaraigosa, who was in Washington, D.C., recently to lobby for federal assistance. "The money will help create about 5,000 jobs, free up funds for other projects and allow us to move ahead at an accelerated rate."

The loan will cover more than a third of the planning and construction costs of the Crenshaw light-rail project, which is now estimated to cost $1.4 billion.

The proposed line would run about 8 1/2 miles from Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the Green Line station at Aviation Boulevard near LAX.

-- Dan Weikel

Graphic: Metropolitan Transportation Authority