Highlights from the Westside Subway Extension's final environmental study

The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report for the Westside Subway Extension was released this afternoon (news release here, report here). Here are some other highlights about the project from the report:

•As the map above and the chart below demonstrates, one big benefit of the Westside Subway Extension is that it will be near a lot of jobs. There are parts of the Westside nearly as job-rich as the downtown areas of other large cities. Note: the map shows options for the final alignment considered by Metro staff in Century City and Westwood.

•As this earlier post shows, the Subway Extension would speed up transit trips to and from Westwood. It is expected to take about 15 minutes for the subway to travel between the Westwood/VA station and the existing Wilshire/Western subway station.

•After the Metro Board of Directors approves of the FEIS/R and the study gets a “record of decision” from the Federal Transit Administration, the project can enter the final design phase, followed by construction. A groundbreaking in 2013 is possible.

•Two construction schedules are proposed by Metro staff in the FEIS/R. One would have the entire line open to the Westwood/VA station in 2022 — but that would first require an expansion of federal funding by Congress.

•The other construction schedule would follow Metro’s long-range plan and would complete the Westside Subway Extension in three phases — opening to La Cienega in 2020, Century City in 2026 and Westwood in 2036. It is 3.9 miles between the existing Wilshire and Western station and the future La Cienega station.

•Metro is not planning on building any parking lots or garages at any of the seven stations along the Westside Subway Extension due to the expense involved of acquiring real estate along the alignment, which mostly follows Wilshire Boulevard. There are private parking lots near many of the stations and all of the stations are served by multiple bus lines. The arrival of the subway may also free up some of those private parking spaces and Metro intends to work with private parking contractors on shared parking arrangements.

•The following map shows present and future bike connections to the Westside Subway Extension along the final alignments considered by Metro staff.

Click above for a larger map.

•If built all at once and completed in 2022, the subway project is estimated to cost $5.66 billion dollars. If built in three phases, the project’s estimated total cost is $6.29 billion.

•Metro staff recommends that the entrance for the Wilshire/Fairfax station be on the northwest corner of Wilshire and Fairfax. Johnie’s Coffee Shop would not be impacted.

•As for the selection of Constellation and Avenue of the Stars for the Century City station location, here’s an excerpt from the FEIS/R:

“The area along Santa Monica Boulevard, between about Moreno Drive and Century Park West Avenue is crossed by multiple faults, and the Century City Santa Monica Station is within an extension of the Newport-Inglewood Fault zone. The Century City Constellation Station is in an area showing no evidence of faulting. Tunnels approaching either station location would necessarily cross both faults. However, the Constellation alignment crosses the Santa Monica Fault zone at more of a right angle, which is more desirable for safe design because a shorter length of tunnel would be affected. There- fore, it is recommended to locate the Century City Station along Constellation Boulevard to avoid locating the station box within the active Newport-Inglewood Fault zone.”

Fault zones in the Century City area. Click above to view a larger map.

The city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District have also conducted their own studies on seismic issues in the area. Metro is reviewing them.

•In addition to safety concerns, revised employment and ridership numbers in the FEIS/R show that the Constellation station is closer to more jobs and residences than a station on Santa Monica Boulevard.

•The Constellation station would require that the subway would tunnel under parts of the Beverly Hills High School campus. Studies performed by Metro found that subway tunnels would not prevent future development on the campus from taking place, nor would the subway cause undue noise or vibration.

3 replies

  1. Can someone from The Source please explain why it is that Metro only calls for one station entrance at most all of their new underground stations. Most metro agencies around the world very typically have multiple station entrances on multiple corners. That way you attract more ridership and make crossing 6-lane arterial roads irrelevant. I really just don’t understand. How much more expensive can it be to add at least 1 additional station entrance?

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  2. Metro needs to forget about Beverly Hills High School.
    I do believe a tunnel under BHHS would not be dangerous as Metro has said.
    However, I also believe a tunnel under the school would mean the land would not be as safe as it was before.
    Also, the school may need to build, rebuild or expand in the future to meet the needs of the school, its students and the city.
    A tunnel would make those future endeavors much harder if not impossible.
    Because our children come first, the tunnel needs to be built elsewhere.

    George Vreeland Hill

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