A transportation board has approved a $1.5 billion plan to build a light rail line that will connect downtown Los Angeles with the city's west side.
The board of the Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority voted 6-to-0 with one abstention on Thursday to extend the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica. The first phase of the project, which runs from downtown to Culver City, is under construction and is expected to open next year.
The second phase would continue west for about seven miles and end a few blocks from the ocean.
The vote came after dozens of comments from opponents who worried the line, which will mostly run at street level, could increase noise and traffic safety hazards. Supporters told the board the line would relieve traffic and pollution in the congested west side.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.