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Compton : County Extends Deadline for Light-Rail Decision

April 11, 1985

The Los Angeles County Transportation Commission has extended to April 24 its deadline for Compton approval of the proposed Los Angeles-to-Long Beach light-rail project.

"Compton has come up with a new proposal, and it's something that will take two weeks for us to fairly evaluate," explained commission chairman Jacki Bacharach.

The county wants to build the 21-mile electric railway at street level next to an existing freight line on Willowbrook Avenue through downtown Compton and has threatened to kill the project unless Compton concurs.

The City Council has favored placing all three tracks in a costly trench below street level or routing freight trains onto Alameda Street a third of a mile farther from City Hall. Even on Alameda, however, the noisy and traffic-blocking trains would have to be underground, the council majority has insisted.

The new plan from the city's staff would divert freight trains from Willowbrook to Alameda just north of Rosecrans Avenue. Some dwellings would have to be removed to construct the connecting link, said Bacharach.

"We didn't know Compton would be willing to do it in that area of town, but since they've proposed it, we'll look at it," she said.

City staff members still are arguing for tracks below ground on Alameda, but the Transportation Commission has said that is unfeasible because it would add about $130 million to the project.

If Compton wants depressed tracks, "(it) should be looking for alternate funding," said Bacharach.

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