Decking at future Wilshire/La Brea subway station finished six weeks ahead of schedule

Weekend street closures at Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue for construction of the Purple Line subway extension have been completed six weeks earlier than scheduled, Metro and its contractor Skanska, Traylor, Shea, A Joint Venture (STS) announced today.

The decking operation included excavating a portion of Wilshire Boulevard and replacing it with concrete deck panels that will act as a temporary street surface while underground station excavation continues below.

•Deck panel installation was originally scheduled to occur over 22 consecutive weekends starting June 10. However, Metro and STS were able to expedite work through a combination of strategies, including early lane reductions on Fridays and close coordination with elected officials, community stakeholders and city departments.

•Future construction work at Wilshire/La Brea will include station excavation, deck openings for deliveries and street restoration. Utility work will continue behind concrete barriers on Wilshire Boulevard and may require occasional short-term directional closures on upcoming weekends. 

•Progress is also being made at Wilshire/Fairfax, the second planned subway station for the project’s first section. STS has begun piling operations, which will require some lane reductions for the next several weekends. The decking operation is scheduled to take place over 18 weekends and will follow a format similar to Wilshire/La Brea. The decking is expected to begin as early as January.

•Work also continues at the third and final Wilshire/La Cienega station site that is part of the project’s first construction phase. STS is finalizing utility relocation work and demolishing buildings needed to create two construction staging yards for that station. 

The 3.9-mile first phase of the Purple Line Extension will extend the subway from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/La Cienega with stations at Wilshire/La Brea and Wilshire/Fairfax. The section is fiscal year 2023-25. Two additional construction phases are also planned that will ultimately continue the subway extension nine miles to Westwood/VA Hospital in the coming years. The Purple Line Extension is funded by Measure R and a federal grant. 

9 replies

  1. Neal Broverman, the difference is the Pacific Electric used three or four crews working towards one another when constructing the Long Beach Line while the MTA uses crews via a contractor that start at one end and work towards the other end. What is so difficult in building all the stations at the same time? What is so difficult in laying rail simultaneously from each end of the line instead of from just end? Using the excuse of environmental regulations has nothing to do with efficient construction methods. And rail is not laid within traffic but instead on a separate right of way. It’s time we turn to the companies that build and maintain tracks for our major railroads instead of the companies that bid almost exclusively on government projects. One such project is underway in Hawaii. It’s over budget by billions, behind schedule, defects/failures in construction and the populace is in favor of abandoning the entire light rail line.

    • Uh, SKANSKA is a major prime contractor for railroad related construction. Recently they built the Colton Crossing flyover under budget and ahead of schedule. Perhaps there was something in the specifications *cough*written*by*Metro* that required this longer timeline.

    • Here’s a basic problem as to why this doesn’t work, its called effectively scheduling labor to meet the required amount of time to get work done. If you have too much labor sitting around with these multiple work crews simultaneously working the three sites not only would you have a scheduling nightmare but a traffic headache because it drives up the cost of the construction of the project.

      Sure any engineering and scope of work can be done if you are willing to pay a lot more to do it and this is the conundrum that faces any public agency building infrastructure projects.

      They could go to other sites that are doing work on tunneling subway stations somewhere else right? But then again there aren’t too many complex subway station and building projects outside of LA and unless the same contractors or subcontractors are doing all the projects this is highly unlikely.

      Also Pacific Electric utilized a lot of surface at grade right of ways not only there but in other areas to build their projects which made them much faster to build because the bulk of the work is clearing the land to secure the Right of way and then build the ballast, rails and need underpasses and bridges for the structures. In addition once they finished the Long Beach corridor, they worked on the Santa Ana, Newport, San Fernando Valley and other corridors after Long Beach as they had plenty of work to do, noticed they didn’t do the whole 1100 mile system at once, they worked it section at a time, stabilizing work crews while keeping expansion going

      • Jerard, What make you think they would be standing around. After the decking is completed they can start excuvating the stations. Once they finish excuvating the stations they can do the station construction.

        As far as light rail construction, the same methods could be used to build these lines that the Pacific Electric used except now they have powerful trucks instead of horse drawn wagons. And as one line is finished a mother one could be started or alternate routes which should be part of all the light rail plans. It amazes me that the Expo Line could not be inter-connected with the Crenshaw Line giving passengers a one seat ride from Downtown L.A. to the airport. The same is true concerning the Blue Line and Green Line. It’s not like it is impossible, the railroads do it everyday. And both the P.E. and L.A. Railway did it in Los Angeles very efficiently. It’s really a joke, what was possible for nearly one hundered years is now impossible with all the high tech tools they have today.

        The MTA is being ran by those with no real transit experience that rely on text book answers instead of real world operation. I worked for the agency before and after the merger. Without myself and my counter parts in Operations attempting to straighten out the TAP Card fiasco only days before it’s implementation it would have been a total disaster. The whiz in charge believed bus operators only issued twenty day passes per eight hour day. As a RTD Bus Operator back in the 1980’s I issued eighty transfers per day on a average. The first day of TAP Cards sales on board buses, my Supervisors issued over one thousand TAP Cards to replenish TAP Cards sold just in the Westside- Central area. This was repeated in the four other sectors. And that was after the twenty count was increased to fifty count distributed to each bus operator at the time of their sign-on. The amount sold each day decreased but the MTA had a very difficult time procuring the additional TAP Cards in the short amount of time they were required to meet the publics needs. There are those who are still hanging on from the former RTD and they have been retained because those from the former LACTC still don’t have a clue and those they hire from the outside are in the dark as well.

      • There were a lot of right of ways already before pacific electric built their lines?? pacific electric built all or most of their lines on already existing right of ways?

  2. This is a prime example of poor planning and incompetent building standards . All three stations should be on parallel schedules with completion of all three at the same time, not months or years different. And has tunneling begun? This is a prime reason it takes the MTA for ever to get a line constructed and operating. I won’t even go into the short time it took the P.E to build both the subway and multi story building above it in Downtown Los Angeles. Three plus years to build the Long Beach Line in comparison to six month in the early 1900’s by the Pacific Electric.

    • Are you serious? You really think things are the same now as then? There are stringent environmental regulations and traffic considerations that have to take place in 2016 that didn’t exist in 1906.