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VALLEY FOCUS | Valley Village

MTA Rail-Welding Site Planned for Median

January 09, 1998|TOM BECKER

Just one week after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to refurbish the median on Chandler Boulevard west of the Hollywood Freeway, officials released plans to construct a temporary welding plant on the median east of the freeway.

The plant and material storage area will be used to weld the rail lines between Colfax and Tujunga avenues, an MTA spokesman said. The facility will be constructed behind a 16-foot wooden sound wall. The 18-month project is set to begin in late January or early February.

"This is one of the last steps in the overall project to establish the Red Line subway from North Hollywood," said Steve Pippen, communications officer with the MTA.

Pippen said the MTA purchased the land known as the Burbank-Chandler ride-a-way many years ago with the idea of constructing either a subway to Woodland Hills or a rail-welding site.

The news of the construction of the facility came the same day the MTA officially announced plans to clean up the median on Chandler Boulevard west of the freeway, although the cleanup had been discussed with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's office beforehand. The refurbishing of the median, a $50,000 project that includes removing debris and landscaping, comes after three years of talks between Yaroslavsky and MTA officials.

Residents were pleased to hear of the cleanup, but some were disappointed to learn of the plans for the welding plant just east of their homes.

"We do not want something like this here," said Lori Dinkin, president of the Valley Village Homeowners Assn. "We fought for so long to get the median cleaned up, and now they're doing this."

Dinkin said she plans to contact the city to try and block the start of construction of the temporary facility. A spokesman from Yaroslavsky's office said the supervisor had no plans to stop the project, which he said is a separate issue from the median cleanup.

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