Crews on the Regional Connector project have reached another milestone on the project: this past week, crews broke through the concrete knock-out panel between 7th/Metro Station and the tunnel for the rail extension. The Connector is a pair of twin 1.9-mile light rail tunnels under downtown L.A. that will connect the Blue, Expo and Gold Lines to speed up trips to and through DTLA.
To demolish the thick concrete wall, crews used a diamond wire saw to cut each wall into six segments. The saw is secured into the wall and a diamond-studded cable pulls the cable through the concrete like dental floss. Anchors were then installed into each concrete segment, allowing crews to pull out the blocks one at a time like an oversized game of Jenga.
Excavation to build to the Regional Connector’s tunnel under Flower Street has been progressing southward from 4th St toward 7th St since 2017 — and reaching this point has been a lengthy process. Crews first replaced the street surface with temporary deck panels and then hung, protected and replaced hundreds of feet of utilities. Finally, they excavated the new tunnel one bucket at a time. Now that the project has reached the connecting point, crews will be able to integrate the new rail line with the tracks that are used by the Blue Line and Expo Line.
The Regional Connector Transit Project is scheduled to open in 2022.