Metro LA has had a change in plans on building the “subway to the sea” and has decided to dig all the way to La Cienega, instead of just to Fairfax, in the first phase of the Purple Line project.
The original plan called for tunneling west underneath Wilshire, creating a station at LaBrea and terminating the first phase at Fairfax in approximately 2019. METRO reevaluated their plans though, and realized it would be more effective to combine all the more difficult and costly tunnel mining system into the first phase – when the dig has to move through the dangerous methane gas pockets, tar deposits, and fossils and bones that likely exist close beneath the surface of the Wilshire/Fairfax area.
According to Metro:“By shifting the interim terminus station from Wilshire/Fairfax to Wilshire/La Cienega, a crossover is no longer required at the Wilshire/Fairfax Station, thereby reducing the amount of cut-and-cover excavation in the vicinity of tar sands, elevated gas levels, and known paleontological deposits. By requiring cut and cover for a smaller area, fewer fossils will be encountered and less hazardous waste will require disposal. Additionally, there are safety benefits of reducing the amount of area and time spent excavating in the elevated gassy grounds [of the La Cienega area, down the route.]”
Expected outcome for residents of the greater Wilshire area? It could be a couple years later before the first phase is open for use (think 2021 instead of 2019.) There should be a smaller above-ground staged work area in the Fairfax-Wilshire arena. Could be a delay in repaving of Wilshire as Metro may divert some of the Wilshire dedicated-bus-lane monies to the first, more expensive phase of the subway. This could be a moot point anyway since Wilshire Blvd will no doubt be in chaos with subway work happening above and below ground.
Attend the local Metro Outreach meeting for more information:Monday, March 26, 2012, 5-7:30 pm LACMA West – Terrace Room, 5th Floor, 5905 Wilshire Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Served by Metro Lines 20, 217, 720 & 780
Validated vehicle parking is available in the Museum’s 6th St underground garage. Enter from 6th and Ogden.
Curbed LA: Metro Wants Phase One to Hit LaCienega
Metro: March 2012 Update on EIR, Map, and Frequently Asked Questions
About Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.