By Lynne Bronstein
Drivers and pedestrians crossing Venice Boulevard near National at the Culver City/Los Angeles border are passing under a wooden bridge that spans Venice Boulevard and continues northwest of the Expo Line Culver City station.
This bridge is the link between Phase One and Phase Two of the Metro Expo Line as it will run toward its terminus in Santa Monica, a 6.6 mile extension from Culver City.
Phase Two of the Expo Line construction reached its halfway point at the beginning of October. According to project manager Brian Freund, Skanska-Rados Joint Venture (SRJV), the contractor for the Expo Line construction, has worked one million hours on the project since its beginning in June 2011 and has not recorded any shifts lost due to injury.
The project requires workers to stand on wooden bridges 25 feet in the air, and to work near power lines of up to 138,000 volts and in trenches more than 20 feet deep.
“We are very proud of our workers and staff for reaching 1,000,000 Safe Hours without a lost time incident," said Freund. "This achievement is a major milestone in the construction industry and we look forward to completing the Expo Line without incident."
Rick Thorpe, CEO of the Expo Construction Authority, added: “We commend SRJV for its demonstrated commitment to safety while making great progress."
The aforementioned bridge at Venice Boulevard is being built by Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. After extensive utility work in 2012, major work on the bridge structure began in the spring of 2013. The bridge will have columns in the center of the street, which requires the widening of Venice Boulevard, including the reconstruction of the median and reconfiguration of traffic lanes between Culver Boulevard and Ivy Street. Work on the bridge will continue through December 2013.
Intermittent and partial street closures will be necessary for the completion of the bridge, as will lane reductions along Venice and
Robertson Boulevards. Venice Boulevard will be reduced to two lanes of traffic in each direction between Culver Blvd and Vera Ave.
Culver City residents and visitors should take heed of the following information.
Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times or via a designated walkway installed by the contractor. Residents and visitors will have access to all businesses and residences throughout the construction activities.
Parking will be prohibited along certain areas throughout construction and “No Stopping Anytime” restrictions will be strictly enforced at all times.
Electronic message boards and directional signage will be used to safely direct drivers and pedestrians around the construction zones.
Day work will be performed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Night work will be performed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday.
Many other bridges and some stations along Phase Two’s route are well into construction at this point. Track work is starting this fall.
The Expo Line is slated for completion in 2015 and will link downtown Los Angeles, the USC area, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.