California - News

Jan 5, 2011 10:16 PM

US approval brings LA's westside light rail closer

LOS ANGELES (AP) Los Angeles has received federal approval for preliminary engineering work on a $4.2 billion light rail line connecting downtown with the city's west side.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement Wednesday that the approval by the Federal Transit Administration means federal funding for the project and a $1.37 billion regional connector could be included in next year's federal budget.

The rail projects were expected to be completed over 30 years with funds from a sales tax approved by county voters in 2008, but some projects are getting accelerated federal funding under the mayor's so-called "30/10 plan."

The mayor says the new light rail line running nine miles from downtown to West Los Angeles would be completed in 2022 instead of 2036 if the accelerated funding comes.

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