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Metro extension once halted by grave marker faces new issue

By Web Staff

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    Lawndale, California (KCAL) — A proposed Metro extension in Lawndale, initially halted after homeowners unearthed a grave marker, faces a new snag thanks to a pipeline and its potential impact on property lines.

The project faced steep opposition from neighbors when it was announced and only amplified after a resident discovered a gravestone honoring the life of a World War II soldier.

Jay Gould claimed that solemn graves lay six feet under his neighborhood for years. He finally felt vindicated when he dug them up at the end of last month. Staunchly opposed to the idea of Metro train cars speeding past his backyard, Gould thought he had a moment of relief when he discovered the markers. However, the neighborhood’s battle with the Metro only worsened.

“The anomaly came right after I told them about the graves,” said Gould. “When you do something against Metro you better make sure your back is protected because they are coming after you.”

The anomaly Gould remarked about is an irregularity Torrance Logistics found along an underground pipeline.

“If they were honest with me I could work with them,” Gould said. “There is nothing wrong with the pipeline here.”

According to Metro, Torrance Logistics notified them about the pipeline anomaly at the end of September.

“The inspection and repairs will involve removing land encroachments that have been previously built in the right of way and are blocking access to the pipeline,” Metro spokesperson Jose Ubaldo said in a statement.

The possible graves lie in the right of way of the proposed 4.5-mile extension route which hopes to connect the C (Green) Line to Redondo Beach, Lawndale and Torrance.

Officials came to the neighborhood on Monday and stopped by the grave marker last Monday.

“They were here today for maybe six, seven hours. They spent 30 to 45 seconds looking at the headstone and they walked away,” said neighbor Josh Standifer. Metro has lost focus of the grave and it has become a property line dispute.”

Metro said they will return to the neighborhood on Tuesday. Residents said they have been told ground search radar will be used to see if there are actual graves underneath the homes.

Gould said he won’t stop advocating for his neighbors despite his health problems.

“I may die in the next year,” said Gould. “I am not doing this for me I am doing this for the people. It is ridiculous to put a train inside of a residential area.”

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