A PowerPoint presentation by Metro on work exemptions being sought for construction of the Purple Line Extension’s La Cienega station.
First, the good news. After years of talk, study, planning, engineering and the pursuit of funding, three Metro rail projects — the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Purple Line Extension and the Regional Connector — are on the verge of beginning serious construction.
Which brings us to the less-than-happy news: All three projects involve tunneling and building underground stations, which in turn require some very big holes to be excavated for stations. Bottom line: Although Metro will be making every effort to mitigate construction work identified in the project’s environmental studies, there will be unescapable and unavoidable impacts.
On each of the three projects, Metro is already discussing the issue of getting permits to perform construction work with local cities. Depending on the work to be performed, Metro is also seeking permission to be allowed to work during the morning and afternoon rush hours, during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and during overnight hours. Although Metro is seeking permission to work at night — which involves some noise — that noise must stay within legal limits.
Why is Metro doing this? To reduce the overall period of the heaviest construction impacts. In particular, Metro wants to complete street-level work as quickly as possible because underground construction work produces far fewer impacts. The hours when heavy construction work in most cities is limited and the more hours that construction can take place each week, the faster the projects can be built.
Some other salient points:
•Metro needs to get work permits so that contractors will know how many shifts they will be able to work at a given location for a particular activity. This will determine the projects’ overall schedules and will help the contractor better prepare their contract proposals. That’s why Metro is seeking permits for the Purple Line Extension and Regional Connector now — so firms that are currently preparing bids to build those projects can better estimate their costs.