I had the chance to sit in this morning with the subway planning team at Metro. It was the first time the entire team had gathered since Thursday, when the Metro Board of Directors approved the staff recommendation to build the Westside Subway Extension on an alignment mostly along Wilshire Boulevard.
The meeting was basically devoted to getting organized for the vast amount of work ahead. Emphasis on the word “vast.”
First and foremost, the team has immediately started to work on the final environmental impact statement/report for the project. The three big issues to be settled there are the locations of the three westernmost stations: Century City (Avenue of the Stars/Santa Monica Boulevard or Ave. of the Stars/Constellation Boulevard), Westwood/UCLA (Wilshire/Westwood or under Parking Lot 36) and the VA Hospital (north or south of Wilshire).
But in the space of two hours, the team also discussed, among other things: soil conditions under the line, future geologic testing that must occur, aerial photographic surveys of the line, public outreach efforts, nailing down station portal locations, recovering paleontological resources from the area to be impacted by construction, construction staging, working with the Federal Transit Administration on planning the line, utility surveys that must be done, digital terrain modeling, rail operation studies that are needed and the Metro art program that will help decorate the stations.
For the time being, it’s full steam ahead and we’ll try to keep readers as involved in the planning process as is possible. If you have suggestions for our coverage, please leave a comment. You can also keep up with the project on the Westside Subway Extension’s Facebook page.