Transit Line Through Sepulveda Pass Could Cost $13 Billion, Officials Say

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The 405 Freeway is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The 405 Freeway is seen in a file photo. (Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

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Building a transit line through the Sepulveda Pass, one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Southern California, could cost more than $13 billion, a figure significantly higher than previous estimates, Los Angeles County officials said Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority project could face a funding gap of more than $8 billion, depending on what route and type of transit officials choose.

The project has about $5.7 billion earmarked from Measure M, the sales tax increase that county voters approved in 2016. Metro plans to seek federal and state funding for the line, which can represent about half the cost of a major transit project.

In a region where three of four commuters drive alone to work, the Sepulveda Pass line offers a key opportunity to shift more drivers off the 405 Freeway and onto transit. All four route options that Metro is studying — either subway or monorail — could whisk riders between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside in less than half an hour, far faster than driving during rush hour.

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