The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of major construction on the third and final section of the Purple Line extension.
The project will connect downtown L.A. and the Westside via a high-speed, high-capacity metro which is expected to be completed in 2027.
The extension links two previous metro sections through Koreatown, Beverly Hills and Century City and extend it by 4 km to Westwood. LA Metro will build new stations at Westwood/UCLA to serve Westwood Village and UCLA and another at Westwood/VA Hospital to serve the hospital campus just west of the I-405 freeway.
The Tutor-Perini/O&G consortium will work for the future Westwood/VA Hospital station which includes a piling operation to create a temporary support structure for the underground station. Drill rigs will dig 30.5 metres – deep holes into the ground and a crane will place steel beams known as ‘piles’ into each hole. After the pile is put in place, each hole will be filled with concrete to provide support for the station walls. Following completion of piling later this year, Metro’s contractor will then begin excavating the metro station box.
Prior pre-construction work to date has consisted of final design, advanced utility relocation and Tunnel Boring Machine assembly and component testing, among others.
“The Purple Line extension is the key that will unlock our transport future and open doors of opportunity across our city and the groundbreaking moves us one step closer to completely redefining our relationship with public transit,” L.A. City Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti said.
The construction of the third section of the Purple line has a value of USD 3.6 billion, of which USD 1.3 billion is a federal grant provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Transit Authority, under the Capital Investment Grant programme. It is a stand-alone grant agreement, with no required loans for Metro to pay back as in previous funding agreements for first two project extensions. The remaining funds needed to build the project will come from Metro’s own local voter-approved transportation sales tax measures.
The extension will reduce the travel time between the Westside to Downtown L.A. to 30 minutes. The Westwood/VA Hospital line is expected to transport 49,300 passengers per day at the seven new stations and 78,000 new daily trips will be made when entire line will be in operation.
The USD 9.5 billion Purple Line project was able to secure approximately half of the total project cost from the FTA. LA Metro is now actively building all three sections of the metro extension, which are planned to open in 2024, 2025 and 2027, respectively. The first section between Wilshire/Western and Beverly Hills is nearly 70 per cent complete. The section 2 is now nearly 45 per cent completed. Section 3, including pre-construction work, has reached 20 per cent completion.