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Metro To Begin Tests For 'Regional Connector' Downtown

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Metro officials say tests are expected to begin Monday for a planned light rail subway line Downtown.

The daytime tests will check noise and vibrations and will measure underground conditions along Figueroa Street from the Metro Center station at Seventh Street north to Second Street. From there, tests will be made parallel to the Second Street tunnel and on Bunker Hill at General Koscuiszko Way, near Disney Hall.

Work is also expected to be conducted on the Gold Line on Second Street near Alameda Street, near the Little Tokyo Station.

The tests will include sonic core drilling, which measures geological conditions and noise and vibration possibilities in the underground soil. Limited nighttime testing will occur, as many people live on Bunker Hill, Metro said.

Metro officials said exact updates about daily construction plans will be available via Twitter. Testing will be done Monday-Friday for the next two weeks.

The 1.9 mile "Regional Connector" would connect the Blue, Expo and Crenshaw lines. The proposed $1.4 billion tunnel would allow straight-through train service between Long Beach and Pasadena; and also from both LAX and Santa Monica to East Los Angeles.

Final environmental studies are now underway, but construction funding may be held up by federal budget cutting, transit advocates have said.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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