At its quarterly Purple Line construction community meeting on Thursday evening, Metro announced that it will be instituting a full closure of Wilshire Blvd., from Western to Gramercy, for 10 days in February. The closure, starting on February 16 and ending on February 26, will help Metro more efficiently complete work in that area to prepare for the construction of tunnels that will connect the new Purple Line Extension to the existing Purple Line station at Wilshire and Western.
Much of the prep work near Western has already been completed, according to Billy Parent, representing Metro’s design-build contractor, Skanska-Traylor-Shea, during weekened closures of that stretch of Wilshire, which started in October. But the 10-day full closure, he said, would allow Metro to finish the work more quickly and would keep Metro from having to continue the weekend closures through the spring. Taylor said Metro is now doing “a big outreach push” to stakeholders in the area, to make sure they know about the coming closure.
In other news, Metro’s Senior Construction Relations Manager Kasey Shuda announced that Metro finished installing street-level concrete decking in the Purple Line La Cienega station area, five weeks early. (Decking for the Fairfax station area was also completed five weeks early last year.) Overall, Metro is now officially about half way through the full 10-year Purple Line construction schedule, and the line is on track to start running in 2023. (The La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega stations will all open at the same time that year.)
Meanwhile, in the La Brea station area, between Orange Dr. and Detroit St. on Wilshire, excavation has been completed, with about 225,000 cubic yards of dirt excavated in 2017. A semi-permanent access opening remains in place at Orange Drive, and crews are now installing HDPE lining materials in the station area’s floor (see photo above), which is about 60-70 feet underground.
At the Fairfax station site, excavation is still in progress, and has currently reached about 35 feet below ground. Crews are now installing construction utilities in the La Cienega station area, and will begin excavation there later this year.
Finally, voting in Metro’s contest to name its two Tunnel Boring Machines for the Purple Line (which are now en route from the manufacturer in Germany) remains open until the end of the month. To read about the finalist names, suggested by area middle and high school students, and to view and vote on TBM artwork by local elementary school students, see https://www.metro.net/projects/purple-line-extension-tbm/
Full presentation materials from Thursday’s meeting are available at http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/westside/images/2018-01_ple_section_1_presentation.pdf The next Section 1 (Western to La Cienega) community construction update meeting will be held on April 19, at 6 p.m., at the Pio Pico Library, 694 S. Oxford Ave. Meetings will now be held quarterly, instead of every other month as they have been since Purple Line construction began.