Purple Line tunneling completed between Century City and Wilshire/Rodeo!

The two TBMs at Wilshire/Rodeo Station. That’s Ruth at left, Harriet at right in both pics. Photo by LA Metro.

Some good and welcome news from Section 2 of the Purple (D Line) Extension project: both tunnel boring machines (or TBMs) have now excavated tunnels between Century City and the Wilshire/Rodeo station under downtown Beverly Hills.

In early February, the TBMs are anticipated to start digging the tunnels between Wilshire/Rodeo and Wilshire/La Cienega stations. The tunnels on 3.9-mile Section 1 of the project — between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega — were completed in 2021.

In other words, this vital project is advancing nicely. Construction is also underway on Section 3 of the project between Century City and the Westwood VA Hospital — including a key station at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards that will provide access to Westwood Village and the UCLA campus.

For those keeping score at home, here are the vital stats on the tunneling on Section 2:

•The two TBMs — named Ruth and Harriet — began digging at Century City on April 30, 2020, and traveled to the east.

•Both TBMs excavated for 5,811 feet (or about 1.1 miles) between Century City and the Wilshire/Rodeo station.

•The first TBM, Harriet, reached Wilshire/Rodeo on Jan. 11. The second TBM, Ruth, made it to the station box on Jan. 28.

The Purple (D Line) Extension project is extending Metro’s D Line subway from its current terminus at Wilshire/Western for nine miles to the Westwood VA Hospital in Westwood. The project is funded mostly by Measure R, Measure M and federal grants. Section 1 is forecast to open in 2024, Section 2 in 2025 and Section 3 in 2027. Travel time between Westwood and downtown L.A. is expected to take about 25 minutes.


7 replies

  1. Scott Mayhew, as Steve stated, the link to the campus of UCLA is going to be part of the Sepulveda Pass project. IMHO, the best alternative is the all subway section with a subway station on the campus of UCLA, then it would travel south to the Wilshire (blvd)/Westwood (Blvd) station where one can transfer to D Purple line to either VA Hospital station or east to Century city and beyond. Further, the Supulveda line alternative I liked was having it continue south to, among other stops, E Expo line and Airport Metro Connector.

  2. Maybe you can clarify a bit about the TBM process. Why didn’t the tunneling westward from Wilshere/Western proceed all the way through each phase with the same TBMs to the terminus at Westwood VA? Instead, it appears there are 3 separate segments that require their own TBMs, If i understand this right.

    • Hi craigypoo;

      You are correct. The project is being built in three individual sections that together form the entire nine mile extension. Each section is its own mini-project with its own set of tunneling machines. The project was divided into three sections in Measure R, the 2008 sales tax measure that is supplying much of the funding. With sales taxes flowing to Metro over many years, the idea was to build a section as funding was available. The passage of Measure M in 2016 helped us condense the schedule considerably so that the entire subway should be open by 2027.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. when will the trunk line be built to the UCLA campus and then the trunk line from downtown Pasadena to the Rosebowl?

  4. My understanding is that the phase one TBMs dug tail tracks west of La Cienega, and were then cut out in-place without any extraction shaft. Can you tell us how the phase two tunnels will end? Is there some sort of vault at the end of the tail tracks for them to break into?