As many of you know, the location of the eventual Century City station is one of the key remaining questions for the Westside Subway Extension. When the Metro Board adopted a route last fall – the “Locally Preferred Alternative” — they authorized Metro staff to continue studying two options.
One would place that station at Santa Monica and Avenue of the Stars. The other would be Constellation and Avenue of the Stars.
Now Metro staff are looking at a third option: a station location farther east on Santa Monica Boulevard that would potentially place the station entrance at the intersection with Century Park East.
Some quick background: Many in the city of Beverly Hills, especially the Beverly Hills Unified School District, to date have only supported the Santa Monica Boulevard/Avenue of the Stars option. Tunnels to reach this location would travel under Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards.
The Constellation Station option has been a part of planning for the Westside Subway Extension since 2007 and arose from public comments asking Metro to look at placing the station more in the heart of Century City, closer to the many buildings and jobs at that destination. The tunnels to reach this station would need to go under residential streets and under Beverly Hills High School property – which many residents and the School District say they oppose. (With either option, tunnels would still travel below many Westwood area homes in neighborhoods between the Century City and Westwood/UCLA stations).
The problem is that the Santa Monica/Avenue of the Stars station, according to Metro staff, may be directly above the Santa Monica Fault. If that is determined to be the case, it would create special significant seismic risks and challenges for subway engineers and builders.
The Santa Monica Fault is believed to travel under the Los Angeles Country Club golf course, reaching Santa Monica Boulevard somewhere between Avenue of the Stars and Century Park East. It then continues traveling west under Santa Monica Boulevard for a distance. According to Westside Subway Extension Project Director David Mieger, this new third option may allow for a Santa Monica Boulevard station location that is outside of the fault zone. “We want to ensure that we have fully evaluated all viable options,” he said.
As a part of the ongoing final environmental review, Metro is doing significant work in the area from Beverly Hills to Westwood to better understand the Santa Monica Fault, soil conditions, and how those factors relate to the station and tunnel locations. All of this information will be compiled for the Final EIS/EIR for the subway which should be released in the summer. The Metro Board of Directors will subsequently make the final decisions on the location of the Century City station and other aspects of the project.