Purple Line Extension tunneling machine art and naming contest announced

Metro is inviting students from kindergarten through 12th grade to participate in an art and naming contest for the two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) that will dig the twin subway tunnels to connect three underground stations of Section 1 of the Purple Line Extension.

The contest is divided into two categories:

  • Students from Kindergarten through 5th grade will compete to illustrate their ideal community with the Purple Line Extension.
  • Students from 6th through 12th grade will compete to choose two names, one for each of the TBMs.

To participate in the art contest, students need only submit their drawings. For the naming contest, students must submit a 200 word essay or a two minute video. The prizes for both categories will include a prize bundle valued at over $350. Included in the prize bundle is a special commemorative Metro TAP card, personalized with the winning illustration and TBM names.

The TBM Art and Naming contest will run now through October 15, 2017.

The selection committee will include Executive Vice President of Skanska, Mike Aparicio; City of Beverly Hills Mayor, Lili Bossee; City of Los Angeles Councilmember, David Ryu; Koreatown Youth + Community Center Manager, Rick Kim; and LACMA Education Coordinator, Albert Valdez. Once the committee makes their top selections, the public will be invited to cast their vote in support of the art and naming contest winners.

The winning TBM artwork and names will be displayed on the side of the huge TBM machines during the lowering ceremony, which is anticipated to happen next March. At that time Metro will recognize the students and award prizes to the winners.

Naming of the TBMs is a mining tradition that dates back to early times. Since the 14th Century, Saint Barbara has been the patron of miners, protecting them when they are working underground. This homage to saints evolved into the commemorative naming of tunneling machines with female names before the digging begins.

Visit metro.net/purple for detailed contest rules and submission information.

The Purple Line Extension will extend the subway from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western for nine miles to Westwood. The project is being constructed in three sections. The first, which is under construction, is 3.9 miles from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/La Cienega with new stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The first section is projected to open in late 2023.

Follow the Purple Line Extension on Twitter and Facebook. Follow the Purple Line Extension TBMs journey into the Earth on Twitter @PurpleLineTBMs.

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