San Diego, California/Mission Valley East LRT Extension
Mission Valley East LRT Extension
San Diego, California
The Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB) has begun construction of the 5.9-mile Mission Valley East Light Rail Transit (LRT) extension of the agency’s Blue Line. The project will extend the existing system from its current termini east of Interstate 15 to the City of La Mesa, where it will connect to the existing Orange Line near Baltimore Drive. The project also includes the construction of four new stations at Grantville, San Diego State University, Alvarado Medical Center and 70th Street, and will also serve two existing stations at Mission San Diego and Grossmont Center. The project includes elevated, at-grade and tunnel portions and provides two park-and-ride lots and a new access road between Waring Road and the Grantville Station. Total capital costs are estimated at $431 million (escalated dollars). The project is expected to serve approximately 10,800 average weekday boardings in the year 2015. Revenue operations are scheduled to begin on December 31, 2005.
A Major Investment Study/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (MIS/DEIS) was completed in May 1997. The Locally Preferred Alternative was selected by MTDB in October 1997, with concurrence from the San Diego Association of Governments (the local Metropolitan Planning Organization). FTA approval to enter the preliminary engineering (PE) phase of project development was granted in March 1998. PE was completed in July 1998. The abbreviated schedule for PE was possible due to the extensive public involvement and detailed analyses undertaken during the planning stages, streamlining much of the work that would traditionally have been undertaken in the PE phase. The Final EIS was completed, and a Record of Decision was issued by FTA in August 1998. FTA approval to enter final design was granted in October 1998. FTA and MTDB executed a Full Funding Grant Agreement on June 22, 2000, providing a total of $330 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds to the project.
TEA-21 Section 3030(a)(76) authorized the Mission Valley East Corridor for final design and construction. Through FY 2001, Congress has appropriated $53.31 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds to the project.