Superior Court Judge Rules in Favor of the Alameda Corridor in Lynwood Suit
JUNE 19, 1997
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien agreed on Friday, June 6 with a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the City of Lynwood against the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA). The suit, filed by the City of Lynwood last November, challenged the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) conducted for the Alameda Corridor.
“We are very pleased with Judge O’Brien’s ruling. His decision not only re-affirms the extensive EIR process conducted for the Alameda Corridor project, it removes one more hurdle for the project and ensures that we will continue to move forward with design and construction of the Alameda Corridor on schedule,” said Gill Hicks, general manager of the ACTA.
In delivering his opinion, Judge O’Brien rejected the contention that changes to the project — particularly in regard to the proposed expansion of Alameda Street — were not accounted for in the EIR. Judge O’Brien ruled, “There has been no change to the project relating to the four-lane highway. That alternative has always been part of the approved EIR. It is also clear that use of the six-lane alternative or the four-lane alternative were each environmentally evaluated in the original EIR. Settling on the four-lane alternative was not a change requiring any major law revisions and did not result in more substantially severe adverse environmental impacts.”
Lynwood was also one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by four cities along the Alameda Corridor route challenging the governance structure of the ACTA Board. That suit was dismissed last October by a three-judge panel of the Second District Court of Appeals with a ruling which gave the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles broad discretion in structuring a joint powers authority to oversee the construction of the Alameda Corridor. The plaintiffs have since appealed their case to the State Supreme Court.
The Alameda Corridor consolidates the operations of two freight rail carriers, creating one high-speed, high-capacity corridor connecting the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the transcontinental rail center in downtown Los Angeles. Once completed, it is estimated that 100 freight trains per day would operate on the Alameda Corridor. The project will significantly reduce traffic congestion within the corridor cities by the elimination of 200 grade-level crossings. Construction of the Alameda Corridor is expected to generate up to 10,000 direct jobs, and additional trade activity resulting from the growth of the ports could result in up to 700,000 direct and indirect jobs in Southern California alone by the year 2020.