How We Roll, May 15: the LAT journeys into the Regional Connector tunnel

Happy Monday, people! Looking ahead this week we have a budget hearing at Metro HQ on Wednesday at 1 p.m. (more below) and Gold Line service to both the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California on Saturday afternoon in Pasadena and U2’s ‘Joshua Tree’ shows at the Rose Bowl on Saturday and Sunday nights — we’ll have a post on that later today. Thursday is Bike to Work Day; bring a bike or bike helmet and ride Metro for free on May 18; Metrolink is offering free rides to cyclists all week. More here

Climb inside the massive tunnel under downtown Los Angeles (LAT)

One of the big station excavations for the Regional Connector project sits next to the Los Angeles Times’ building. And I’m sure that got the paper thinking — what’s going on down there.

This excellent package assembled by reporter Thomas Curwen and photographer Mel Melcon answers that question with 360-degree video, photos, a graphic and text. The package is mostly concerned with the workings of the tunnel boring machine and the workers who keep the TBM inching forward day-after-night-after-day.

Here are some pics that the LAT tweeted:

The Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile tunnel that is linking the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines in DTLA. The project will allow Metro to run one light rail line between Santa Monica and East Los Angeles and another between Azusa and Long Beach.

The two lines will share five stations in DTLA (Pico, 7th/Metro, 2nd/Hope, 2nd/Broadway and 1st/Central). The project will speed up light rails to and through downtown L.A. and greatly reduce the need to transfer. For example, riders on the Eastside Gold Line will no longer have to ride to Union Station and switch to the subway to reach the heart of DTLA. Instead, their train will stop at the above stations before heading toward Santa Monica on the tracks currently used by the Expo Line.

The Regional Connector is scheduled to open in late 2021. Here’s the project home page. And here are some pics of the project from the Connector team:


Reminder: A public hearing on the $6.1-billion Metro budget for the coming fiscal year will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, at Metro Headquarters in the third floor Board Room, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA, 90012. Metro HQ is located adjacent to Union Station and can be reached via the East Portal. More here. Here’s how the budget would look if it was a pie:


Los Angeles is all in for the 2024 Olympics (NYT)

The delegates from the International Olympic Committee have now moved on to Paris, the other city vying for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The IOC is set to announce the winner in September at their meeting in Lima, Peru. The rumor is that the runner-up will be given a chance to host the 2028 Olympics.

New renderings, shorter height for big Crossroads of the World redevelopment (Curbed LA)

If the project goes forward it’s a short walk to the Red Line’s Hollywood/Highland Station. 

L.A. River Atwater ped-bike-horse bridge nears approval (Streetsblog LA)

Cool project that needs final approval and some more funding from the L.A. City Council to become a reality. It should make it a lot easier to ride between the L.A. River Bike Path, Griffith Park and Atwater Village.

Speaking of the river, check out this new development planned for Frogtown in the Elysian Valley.

Union Station’s Fred Harvey room is officially restored (Curbed LA)

That’s the mezzanine in back, as seen in 2013. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Work removing decades of grime on the mezzanine has been completed and the old restaurant space at Union Station is looking good as work continues to convert it to a gastropub. No opening date yet.

More transpo news via Twitter: 


2 replies

  1. What is the reason that the tunnel boring machine (TBM) cannot or will not be used south of 4th Street?

    • @Morris Warren, I’m pretty sure it’s because there is no way to extract the TBM components ‘quickly’ in the middle of Flower Street. They have to use cut-and-cover south of 4th to connect with the existing LR line stub.

      Noticed that the completion date keeps slipping, now it is late 2021. 🙁

      The LAT article doesn’t mention the benefits of having five stations to transfer between LR lines. Hopefully this means less ‘transfer crush traffic’ at 7th/Metro and Pico.