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Last year the city appointed consulting firm URS Corporation to conduct initial studies. Local newspaper LA Times said that according to a draft report carried out by URS Corporation, the project investment is about US$270 million. The figure is US$57 million less than the previous estimate.
Asked by the LA Times, a spokesman for the city's Transportation Department said it would be "inappropriate to comment on a draft document." Officials will have a final cost estimate in two to three weeks, he said.
The streetcar project faces a $110 million funding gap. LA Times said that local funding would raise as much as $85 million and a grant of the Federal Transit Administration would give the project $75-million. To make up the difference, the city plans to arrange a public-private partnership.
According to city officials the project's environmental review documents will be finished by next spring. The project is scheduled to be operational by 2019.
The downtown light rail project has been publicly discussed for nearly a decade.
L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the United States, after New York City.
The new line would start on 1st Street and run south on Broadway, west on 11th Street, north on Figueroa Street, east on 7th Street and north on Hill Street. Then the line would go north to Grand Avenue, turning around near the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.