The Metro Blue Line loop in downtown Long Beach closed today for 30 days and $1.2 billion worth of repairs.
Metro’s first light-rail line, opened in 1990, is getting new railcars, sections of track, switches, overhead power lines and station improvements. The four downtown Long Beach stations will be closed for the duration of the work.
Trains bound for Long Beach will stop at the Anaheim Street Station.
From there, passengers will be able to take free shuttles to the four downtown stops along the loop.
The work is projected to wrap up Oct. 19.
“The 30-day closure of the Blue Line service to downtown Long Beach will tax the patience of commuters, motorists, shoppers and business owners,” said Metro board member and County Supervisor Don Knabe said. “We have spent months working with Long Beach officials and our counterparts at Long Beach Transit and we are confident that the results will more than justify any inconvenience.”
The project includes $739 million to purchase new railcars, plus $130 million to upgrade 52 existing railcars. Metro already spent about $82 million to replace 20 power stations.
The Blue Line logs about 90,000 boardings per day and is considered one of the busiest light-rail lines in the country.