Above is a section of the Purple Line Extension tunnel between La Brea and Western. The video is taken from the loci train that is used to haul workers and materials.
Now that it’s officially 2020, let’s check-in to see how the Purple Line Extension is coming along. One of Metro’s priority projects, the first section of the Purple Line Extension started heavy construction back in 2015.
Wilshire Boulevard has changed a lot since the early days of construction with much of the recent changes has been mostly underground.
Tunneling began in late 2018 and in a little more than a year, tunneling is now more than 50 percent complete. More than 3.5 million cubic feet of dirt has been excavated — that’s about 87,500 tons of dirt! Elsie and Soyeon, the Section 1 TBMs, are currently tunneling to the west under Wilshire Boulevard and should be arriving at Wilshire/Fairfax Station in February.
The first section is 3.9 miles long with stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The forecasted opening for Section 1 is late 2023.
Section 2 of the project extends the subway 2.6 more miles to stations in downtown Beverly Hills — at Wilshire/Rodeo — and Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard in Century City. Major construction milestones are being met on this section and the forecast opening is 2025.
Construction at the Wilshire/Rodeo subway station in Beverly Hills ramped up again this month with piling to create the supports for the underground station box. Two additional TBMs are currently being assembled underground in a TBM launch box in Century City on Constellation Boulevard.
This will bring the total of working Purple Line Extension TBMs up to four — more TBMs than any current underground rail project in the United States.
The third section of the project will run another 2.6 miles from Century City to Westwood. With a station at Wilshire Boulevard and Westwood Boulevard near UCLA and a station at Wilshire Boulevard and Bonsall Avenue on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Property. The final section is anticipated to be open in 2027, just in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
In Westwood, work to map and relocate underground utilities took place in 2019. Metro and the Federal Transit Administration are finalizing a massive grant for the project and a ground breaking for major construction should be soon.
To remain on target for completion, the Purple Line Extension’s has these goals for 2020:
- Tunnel west to Wilshire/La Cienega Station and add 3,280 more feet of tunnels.
- Finish piling for the Wilshire/Rodeo Station and start decking to create a temporary street surface while excavation occurs underground.
- Complete early utility relocation in Westwood and start piling for the Westwood/UCLA Station.
The Purple Line Extension hosts quarterly meetings and webinars to provide community members the latest project updates. Join the Purple Line Extension for the first webinar of 2020 on Wednesday, January 8, from 12 to 1 p.m.