Inglewood Transit Connector groundbreaking pushed back

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By 2 Urban Girls

Contributing Writer

INGLEWOOD — The city has released an updated draft environmental impact report for the Inglewood Transit Connector project, which delays the proposed groundbreaking by two years.

Changes include the proposed maintenance and storage facility off of Manchester Boulevard, which allows Vons grocery to remain at its existing location and the plan also reduces the number of support columns proposed along the route.

“This project is emblematic of transportation planning in Los Angeles,” resident BJ Ceja said. “Multi-billion dollar transit projects get you ‘almost’ where you want to go but not quite there.

“LAX — almost but need another train to get to the terminals, the Forum, SoFi Stadium — almost but need another train to go the last mile. Clipper Stadium — just walk. In fact, the people mover will leave people just over a quarter if a mile from SoFi Stadium and almost half a mile from Clipper Stadium. For $1 billion, it doesn’t even drop you off at the site.”

Other modifications to the project include the realignment of the proposed alignment on Prairie Avenue to the west side of the street to allow for single column alignment and allow the street to be open to the sky, as well as the relocation of one of the proposed stations to the southwest corner of Prairie Avenue and Manchester Boulevard.

The new alignment will have a major impact on all properties on the west side of Prairie Avenue, possibly including a nursery school, renovated apartment building, convenience store and other businesses that have been there for decades could now be forced to relocate. Plans for a Raising Cane’s restaurant at the corner of Manchester and Prairie appear to have been scrapped due to the proposed construction.

Construction was originally anticipated to occur over a 45-month period between 2022 and 2026. The revised project is now expected to be built over a period of 46 months between January 2024 and November 2027.

According to the report, the project is exempt from requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act because it doesn’t apply to “facility extensions not to exceed four miles in length which are required for the transfer of passengers from or to exclusive public mass transit guideway or busway public transit services.”

The report states “the city voluntarily prepared this recirculated draft EIR to provide a comprehensive environmental analysis of the proposed project and to solicit public and agency input on the proposed projects, its potentially significant environmental effects and mitigation measures and/or alternatives to reduce or avoid any such effects.”

Once the review is complete, the project will move forward for the official approval from the City Council.

The city has secured roughly $400 million of the $1 billion price tag for the transit connector project.

2 Urban Girls is a freelance reporter for Wave Newspapers who covers the Compton and Inglewood areas. She can be reached at 2urbangirls@gmail.com.

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