About 135 trees to eventually be removed for Purple Line Extension

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Mexican fan palms to be removed near the future Wilshire/La Cienega station in Beverly Hills.

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Plane trees in the city of Los Angeles to be removed for subway construction.

As we move deeper into the era of construction for Measure R projects, we’re also going to be writing more about the inevitable work impacts of building transit and road projects.

And thus today’s news: about 135 trees — about 34 in Beverly Hills and 101 in the city of Los Angeles — will eventually have to be removed and later replaced along Wilshire Boulevard to accommodate work on the first phase of the Purple Line Extension subway.

Most of the trees to be removed are in the area where three new stations will be excavated: Wilshire and La Brea, Wilshire and Fairfax and Wilshire and La Cienega. Metro says it will plant two trees for every one that is removed.

The bulk of the tree removals are still about a year away and will be managed by the future contractor. However, in the next month or so, Metro is seeking to remove two Mexican fan palms from the median of Wilshire just east of Detroit (near the Wilshire/La Brea station site) for pre-construction work — specifically, fiber optic utility relocation. The agency has also submitted draft Master Tree Removal Plans to both Beverly Hills and Los Angeles and will work with both cities toward agreement on a final plan.

Of the trees to be removed, many are not in good shape and Metro officials say likely would not survive transplanting. None of the trees are protected, historically significant or belong to threatened species, although some of the Mexican fan palms to be removed are taller than 50 feet (Mexican Fan palms are a very common tree planted in cities in warm weather locales in the U.S.).

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Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 20

Have a transportation-related article you think should be included in headlines? Drop me an email! And don’t forget, Metro is on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Pick your social media poison! 

Just in case anyone needs help with their bracket, here's mine. Copy at your own risk!

Just in case anyone needs help with their bracket, here’s mine. Copy at your own risk!

Construction concerns over LA subway (NBC 4)

The segment on the Purple Line Extension suggests that Metro is seeking to perform work on the subway 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To clarify: Metro has one application currently before the Los Angeles Police Commission for construction work on the first phase of the Purple Line Extension. It asks for a six month extension of a permit that expires April 17 for utility relocation night work from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. with the stipulation that the noisiest work be performed before 11 p.m. The work would be done five nights at week — Monday through Friday at Wilshire/La Brea and Sunday through Thursday for Wilshire/Fairfax.

Metro has also met with the Police Commission to discuss an upcoming application for station box pile drilling work in 2015, which would be done between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. This work will occur after all the utility relocation has been completed.

UPDATE, MORE INFORMATION: In January, Metro submitted three applications to the Police Commission to allow night-time work involving noise at Wishire and Western, Wilshire and LaBrea and Wilshire and Fairfax that would include pile installation, street decking and yard work at those locations beginning in August 2014. Metro has asked the Commission to not act on that request while the agency worked on providing more details. Metro is currently working on resubmitting these applications.

Interested readers may want to review the project’s Construction Fact Sheet for more information on how this will all occur.

The plan that could finally free New York City from traffic congestion (The Atlantic Cities) 

The group Move New York is proposing a congestion pricing plan for Manhattan that toll all bridges and tunnels (some are and some aren’t currently) and impose a toll on motorists heading into Manhattan south of 60th Street. Traffic is always a big issue in New York, but doing anything about it is politically difficult. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg pursued congestion pricing. When that fell through, a federal grant instead went to Metro, which used the funds to start the ExpressLanes on the 10 and 110 freeways.

LAPD seeking suspects in DASH bus shooting (L.A. Times) 

A woman and boy were wounded either when they were grazed by a bullet or by shattered glass at 42nd and Avalon in South L.A. early Wednesday evening. An accompanying photo shows the boy standing and getting treatment for his injuries.

First poll on L.A. sales tax hike for street and sidewalk repairs (KABC 7)

A proposed half-cent sales tax increase in the city of Los Angeles for street and sidewalk repair was supported by 40 percent of those surveyed by Channel 7 while 55 percent said they would against an increase. Such an increase would need two-thirds support for passage. The City Council has until July to decide whether to put a proposed increase to voters on the November ballot.

California still failing to invest in sustainable transportation choices (NRDC)

The environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council takes a closer look at projects to be considered for funding by the California Transportation Commission. And the group doesn’t like what it sees, with the majority of money going to road projects at a time when walking, biking and transit use in the state has increased.

 

Reminder: Metro hosting community meetings this Thursday to discuss ongoing and future work on Wilshire/La Cienega station

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Metro is holding a pair of community meetings on Feb. 13 to discuss utility relocation and other work that needs to be done in preparation for construction of the Purple Line Extension’s Wilshire/La Cienega station.

Metro has a “Master Cooperative Agreement” with the city of Los Angeles that governs how Metro and the city will work together during subway construction, including each parties’ responsibilities, timelines and how Metro will reimburse the city for its time.

Metro is hoping to also get such an agreement with Beverly Hills. In the meantime, the Beverly Hills City Council has required that they review each permit request. The Feb. 13 meetings are being held to help inform the public about the work that needs to be done.

Here’s the latest presentation given to Purple Line Extension’s Advisory Group with updates on current work

The Advisory Group of the Purple Line Extension had a community meeting last night for the latest update on the project that is extending the subway for 3.9 miles from Wilshire & Western to Wilshire & La Cienega.

The presentation is posted above. Updates were provided on current work on the project (including utility relocations and the exploratory shaft), systemwide station design principles and Metro’s art program, including upcoming workshops for artists who may want to be considered for Metro art opportunities on the subway project or other projects.

Video of this morning’s groundbreaking event for the Crenshaw/LAX Line

And here is video of this morning’s groundbreaking for the Crenshaw/LAX Line.

There are nice comments about mobility — and the need for more of it — from U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Metro would like to extend a special thank you to Secretary Foxx and Senator Boxer for making the trip to Los Angeles on Tuesday and for their help — and they were both personally involved — in getting this project off the ground.

RELATED POSTS:

And so it begins: ground is broken for the 8.5-mile Crenshaw/LAX Line

Social media roundup for Crenshaw/LAX Line groundbreaking

Carmageddon Revisited: Metro, Caltrans and Kiewit reopen iconic Mulholland Bridge

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The iconic Mulholland Bridge that spawned two unprecedented weekend closures of the nation’s busiest freeway and introduced the word “Carmageddon” into the American vernacular was fully reopened to traffic in Los Angeles at 6 a.m. Wednesday after nearly two-and-a-half years of intensive bridge reconstruction work.

The contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, implemented the final traffic switch, signal and lane striping work needed to reopen the new northern half of the bridge, returning all lanes to full capacity in time for the mid-week morning rush hour today. Approximately 20,000 vehicles travel over the bridge on a daily basis.

The return of the new bridge to full capacity is the latest milestone for the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project, which is building a 10-mile carpool lane on the northbound I-405 between the 10 and 101 freeways.  As the administrator of the design-build project, Metro and its project partner Caltrans have committed to continue opening parts of the massive freeway widening project as soon as they are deemed safe and ready for public use.

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New northbound off-ramp from 405 is now open for business

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Photos by Dave Sotero/Metro.

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The northbound ramp from the 405 freeway to Sunset Boulevard reopened this morning, thereby ending construction work on ramp improvements at the 405-Sunset interchange.

The top photos shows one of the first vehicles to use the newly lengthened and widened ramp; the bottom photo shows a later participant :)  More details and photos in this earlier post.

Great video of Purple Line Extension….in Moscow

Grab your Troika Card and check out this great video of construction work on the Purple Line Extension in Moscow — only thing missing is “Eye of the Tiger” from the soundtrack. Of course, Metro is gearing up for construction of the 3.9-mile first phase of the Purple Line Extension between the existing Wilshire/Western station and Wilshire/La Cienega in Beverly Hills.

With car traffic in Moscow having taken a turn for the much, much worse since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Moscow subway is undergoing a tremendous expansion this decade with additional mileage and stations being added to several lines.  Wikipedia (to be taken with an appropriate grain of salt) says there are 15 tunnel boring machines currently at work, which sounds plausible.

Construction notice on Cesar Chavez street closures

Division 13 is on its way to being halfway complete, but there’s still plenty of construction left. Starting this Friday, a segment of Cesar Chavez will be closed on weekend nights for the installation of underground DWP vaults.

Here’s the construction notice from Metro:

Cesar Chavez Street Closure August-September 2013

Metro to reconstruct entrance to South Pasadena Station

Metro will begin rebuilding a new ADA-compliant access ramp to replace existing stairs on the southbound platform of the Metro Gold Line South Pasadena Station. Access to the platform will be available during construction for patrons traveling to Union Station. The work is expected to be completed by the end of September 2013.

Metro will have ambassadors at the station during peak hours to assist passengers using the ticket vending machines and the TAP validators at the station. There are eight ticket vending machines and six TAP validators at the station. Only two TVMs will be out of service during construction.

Construction will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition, Metro will rebuild the north end of the entrance on Mission Street for patrons with disabilities. The ADA-compliant entrance on the south side of the platform at El Centro Street will remain open.

For more information contact Customer Relations at (213) 922-6235. For schedules or to plan a trip, Trip Planner.