Metro has prepared a proposed decision with written findings regarding the reasonableness of the Westside Subway Extension’s Century City station at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars, which would tunnel under parts of the Beverly Hills High School campus. This follows the special meeting on this subject that was held last week at the request of the city of Beverly Hills.
The Metro Board of Directors will consider the proposed decision and findings from the hearing at their regular meeting this Thursday at 9 a.m. at Metro headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The Board is also scheduled to consider approving the alignment and station locations for the second and third phases of the project, which run west from La Cienega Boulevard to the Westwood VA Hospital. Also scheduled is the continuation of last week’s special meeting so that public comment can be heard.
At last week’s hearing, Beverly Hills provided several presentations by their consultants that questioned and criticized Metro’s studies. Metro has concludedthat it is unsafe to build subway tunnels or a station parallel to Santa Monica Boulevard due to active earthquake faults.
Metro staff have instead proposed to locate the station under Constellation Boulevard, which would also have a higher projected ridership. Beverly Hills’ consultants said that it may be safe to build under Santa Monica Boulevard. The city also proposed alternative routes that would utilize part of Santa Monica Boulevard to reach a Constellation station.
Metro staff have considered the views presented by Beverly Hills along with the reports and conclusions of their own consultants and experts. Here are the proposed decisions and findings:
Proposed Decision and Findings
Based on the professional opinions of MTA’s internationally recognized experts in the field of seismology, geology and tunnel construction, staff recommends that the Board adopt the following findings and render its decision to locate the Century City Station at Constellation Boulevard/Avenue of the Stars:
1. Tunneling can be safely carried out beneath the Beverly Hills High School
2. Tunneling would not prevent future development of the BHHS campus;
3. Tunneling would not impact the use of the BHHS campus as an emergency
4. Vibration and noise levels are within the FTA requirements and tunnel
operation is not anticipated to have adverse impacts. The tunnel construction
may cause some low levels of noise and vibration for a day or two;
5. Tunneling can be constructed and operated safely in gassy ground;
6. Oil wells do not pose an unmitigable risk to tunneling. Should they be
encountered, procedures will be in place for their safe removal and reabandonment;
7. In Century City, Constellation Boulevard is a viable option for a station
location, but Santa Monica Boulevard is not due to unacceptable seismic risk;
8. Tunneling through fault zones can be done safely;
9. MTA’s approach to risk management is correct;
10. Further site investigations will be conducted and measures will be
implemented to reduce risks to levels that are as low as reasonably practicable;
11. MTA and its engineering consultants have expertise designing and building tunnels and subway stations in Los Angeles; and
12. The Constellation Station will attract more riders than the station locations along Santa Monica Boulevard.