Superior Court Judge Thomas McKnew issued a ruling yesterday to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Neighbors for Smart Rail, challenging aspects of the final envirnomental impact report for Phase 2 of the Expo Line, which travels from Culver City through Cheviot Hills and Rancho Park to Santa Monica. You can read the whole decision here by entering case number BS125233.
Had the case gone forward it would likely have delayed or stalled construction of the rail line, which the Expo Authority plans to open in 2015.
Neigbhors for Smart Rail, a local non-profit supported in part by several area neighborhood groups including, the West of Westwood Homeowners Association, the Westwood Gardens Civic Association and the Cheviot Hills Homeowners Association says they always believed the case would be decided at the appelate level.
"NFSR will be filing an appeal and is confident that the applellate court will review the plain facts of the case and find that the Expo enviornmental review was fatally flawed and must be corrected," they say in a statement posted on their website.
But as noted over at Streetsblog LA, unless a judge halts the project until completion of the appeal, construction will likely begin before the lawsuit is resolved. As I posted earlier, the construction process is well underway, with the the design-build firm selected and a contract expected to be awarded at the upcoming Expo Authority board meeting on March 18.