Forging the Link

by Brewerton Clarke, Project Manager; STV Group, 1055 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1455, Los Angeles, CA 90017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 5, Pg. 72-74

Document Type: Feature article


The Southern California region is known as the freeway capital of the world. The transportation system has been based on the freedom of the individual automobile for more than 25 years. In recent years, however, the population growth of the region has outstripped the ability of the freeway system to provide efficient and clean transportation. The quality of life, including the air quality, has suffered a decline. Today the average speed of vehicles on the freeways is below 37 miles per hour and decreasing every day. Expanding the highway system to accommodate the constantly growing demand is not possible because land is already highly developed in the area. Metrolink, a new regional rail transit system, was created by the five countries of Southern California, to lure the long distance commuters off the freeways and onto the trains. STV Group is the general engineering consultant for Metrolink, playing a key role in the planning, construction and startup of the new system. When the Northridge Earthquake struck in January 1994, all involved parties mobilized in order to fill the gap in the transportation system left by broken highways and bridges. This process acutally augmented the Metrolink system.

Subject Headings: Light rail transit | Highways and roads | Air quality | Railroad trains | Rail transportation | Highway bridges | Consulting services

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