The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved $40 million for an underground Crenshaw Line station in Leimert Park, which for years has been a source of friction between officials and the community.
Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, whose district includes Leimert Park, introduced a motion to allocate $40 million for an underground station in Leimert Park Village and $15 million for a stop in Westchester.
"This is a beautiful moment for us to set a historic step in the right direction to have those two stops," Councilmember Bill Rosendahl said just before the vote. "[It] will make the Crenshaw Line effective for bringing people downtown and the stops along the way."
Councilwoman Jan Perry said the money would show the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority that the City Council was serious about the project moving forward.
Although the $40 million is a fraction of the estimated $130-million cost of the Leimert Park station, the extra money could be key to resolving its limbo.
The Metro board decided in 2011 that the Leimert Park stop would be built if bidders on the Crenshaw Line included the station and still kept their proposals within budget. If the winning bid does not include the station, or if the stop would cost more than expected, Metro would have to find more money.
Supporters say Leimert Park, a hub of African American culture, would benefit from the tourism and foot traffic that the train would bring. Opponents say the station is too close to other stops to be worth the price tag.
The Crenshaw Line will cost an estimated $1.7 billion. The line, which runs along Crenshaw Avenue to connect the Expo Line to the Green Line, is expected to open in 2018.
Metro is scheduled to approve a contractor for the Crenshaw Line in at its June board meeting.