Two major steps towards linking passenger rail tracks from Union Station to the beach will be taken Tuesday, when new Metro rail construction phases begin in Santa Monica and downtown.
In Santa Monica, construction of the Expo Line extension enters its second phase today, as crews begin to trip up pavement and other heavy construction chores along Colorado Avenue.
Until now, only utility relocation work has been done in downtown Santa Monica.
Effective Tuesday, eastbound Colorado has been closed to traffic at Fourth Street permanently. The western terminus of the Expo Line will be built on the southern half of Colorado, between Fourth and Fifth streets.
Track bed will be prepared along Colorado east of Fourth Street to about 18th Street, meaning north-south streets will soon see detours and construction.
Those streets include Lincoln Boulevard, and signs warning of congestion have been posted at the Santa Monica (10) Freeway's exits.
In downtown Los Angeles, utility relocation trenches are being started along Second Street in the blocks near Broadway. That project is an early phase of the Central Connector, a tunnel that will link the Expo/Blue Line tracks with the Gold Line tracks.