On May 19, Los Angeles hosted “Halfway There!” – a community celebration attended by local and national officials as well as representatives from the firms responsible for the design and construction of the new light rail line. The event was held at the plaza of the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, across the street from the excavation site where the tunneling had started.
“The event was quite upbeat and uplifting, and everyone seemed to enjoy being there,” said Bill Hansmire, project manager for WSP USA. “The event celebrated the myriad of cultures that reflect the mosaic of Los Angeles. Japanese, Brazilian, African and American cultures were among those evident in the entertainment featured throughout the day.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti served as master of ceremonies. Speakers included Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Council; Phil Washington, Los Angeles Metro CEO; and was attended by Norman Mineta, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
“Transforming the L.A. region through an aggressive transportation initiative has taken a giant step forward today as we reach a critical halfway point in this important project,” Washington said. “When completed, this project will be a real game changer for the entire region providing greater connectivity.”
Stakeholders located along the new Regional Connector line include the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Colburn School, the Broad Art Museum, and other cultural institutions in the region.
“Transportation improvements aren’t just about building infrastructure — they’re about building new connections to the people and places that we love,” Garcetti said. “The Regional Connector will bring those connections to riders across the region, and today’s milestone means we’re one step closer to a one-seat ride from the Eastside to the beach.”
The Regional Connector Transit Project is creating “a vision for a more multimodal downtown Los Angeles (DTLA),” added Huizar. “The Regional Connector fits in with our DTLA Forward. Together, we must remain united in the goal of creating a great transportation network serving the entire region, with DTLA as our public-transportation center point.”
During the celebration, Hansmire led public tours near the excavation site where he explained the progress of the project and answered questions.