Fri, May

Crenshaw/LAX line is at “substantial completion;” opens at the end of the summer

Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell gives a speech before speeches from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson

Metro held a closing ceremony for the Business Interruption Fund, Business Solution Center, and Eat Shop Play programs.
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Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation staff members (L-R) Brian Lazo, Darrell Smith, Mark J. Robertson, Sr., Angela B. Winston, Artesia Wright, Rueben Lindsey, Bryan Miyamoto, and Charles Boyd.

By Jason Lewis

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) celebrated programs that helped local small businesses that felt the financial impact of the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line.  At this celebration, it was announced that the K Line would be operational by this fall.  

“This project is over 40 years in the making,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who grew up in Leimert Park.  

Early in Mitchell’s political career, when she was a staffer for State Senator Diane Watson, she overheard Watson having a conversation with then-Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley.  She recalls them saying to each other, “Can you imagine if we had a train that ran down the middle of Crenshaw to the airport?”  

“So Diane, and Mayor Bradley, here it is,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said that the project is at “substantial completion.”

“It means that our contractor is finished with two out of the three segments of this line, and they’ve turned over — it’s like handing over the keys when you buy a house — they have turned over the Aviation and Century station, the Westchester/Veterans and downtown Inglewood stations, Fairview Heights and Hyde Park stations,” she said.

“Metro will now begin a five-to-six-month testing period of the rail line, and it’s already begun.  I’ve seen on Facebook and other social media photos that people are taking from their cars of trains going across them as they’re sitting at the red light.”

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti pointed out that Destination Crenshaw, a 1.3-mile-long open-air museum along Crenshaw Boulevard dedicated to preserving the history and culture of African Americans, will be prominently featured along the rail line.

“Every visitor who comes here for the Olympics and Paralympics, and every visitor who comes here for the World Cup, and every person who comes here to visit this town will go through South L.A. and thanks to this councilmember (Marqueece Harris-Dawson), will see a Destination Crenshaw,” Garcetti said.  “To keep Black culture and businesses owned by women, and people of color, and veterans and people with disabilities alive and thriving here.”

“When you get off the train at the Leimert Park station, we’re going to have as a part of Destination Crenshaw, Sankofa Park,” Harris-Dawson said.  “When you get off you’re going to see a statue of an African-American woman holding a torch facing the Hollywood Hills.  Constructed by us by our own neighbor Kehinde Wiley, the artist who did the (President Barack) Obama portrait that we all went down to LACMA to see.  Well he’s from our community.  It will be a 30-foot statue that will be a part of a whole series of art installations.  Not only will the train come through Crenshaw, but it will come to Crenshaw, and give the world something to see about the story about our people in this great city and in this great state.”

Several business owners who benefited from the Business Interruption Fund were present at the event and spoke about how they benefited from Metro’s assistance.  Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation gave out roughly 200 grants through the Business Interruption Fund.  

For more information about the Crenshaw/LAX line, visit www.metro.net/crenshaw