At its bi-monthly construction community meeting on Thursday, May 18, at the SAG-AFTRA building, Metro representatives provided updates on current and upcoming work on the Purple Line subway extension project. This month, there were no really big announcements, but there were a few points of particular interest for our local neighborhoods:
- The eastern end of the Purple Line extension, near Western Ave., has been fairly quiet so far, but work will start soon to connect the existing Wilshire/Western station to the new line. First, there will be the installation of surface-level concrete decking between Western and Manhattan place, and then some jet grouting to strengthen the soil along Wilshire between Windsor and Bronson.
- Excavation of the La Brea Ave. station box is well underway, and will proceed until December, about 25 feet below the surface. Current work involves hanging large conduits carrying utility cables. A new center-lane access portal, which will remain in use for much of the construction period to provide materials access, is now open on Wilshire between Orange and Sycamore.
- Two new fossils were found in the La Brea excavation area in April. One appears to be a camel femur, and the other from a mammoth or mastodon. The fossils have been boxed and taken to a Natural History Museum storage facility in Riverside. Their permanent home will be determined by the material they were found in – fossils found in tar go to the Tar Pits Museum, while fossils found in sandy soil will end up at the Natural History Museum.
- After John Burroughs Middle School lets out for the summer in June, there will be more jet-grouting work to strengthen the soil along Wilshire from Manfield to Longwood.
- There will also be a few more temporary street closures, just north and south of Wilshire along Sycamore Ave. and Orange Dr., to install concrete decking on those streets. This will allow for later construction of station “appendages” below ground in those areas.
- Weekend street closures for decking installation along Wilshire near the Fairfax station area are continuing. This is the last weekend the Wilshire/Fairfax intersection itself will be closed, and work will move west of Fairfax for the next four weekends. (Wilshire west of Fairfax will be closed during those periods, but Fairfax will remain open.)
- After the decking work is finished in the Fairfax station area, crews will begin excavating the station box area under the street, using temporary openings in the surface-level decking for access.
- Piles are now being installed for the third station at Wilshire and La Cienega. Dewatering and potholing work is also taking place at that location.
- Metro’s Business Interruption Fund, which assists small businesses along the the construction route on Wilshire, has now made 89 grants, totalling almost $2 million, to businesses that have been negatively affected by the construction. Affected businesses are allowed to apply for up to $50,000 per business per year of construction.
- On Sunday, June 11, from 10 am. to 2 p.m., there will be a Metro Art Program Family Workshop at the Farmer’s Market. Stakeholders of all ages are invited to come and share their ideas and inspirations for art to decorate the new Purple Line stations.
The next construction community meeting will be held on Thursday, July 20, at 6:00 p.m., at the Pio Pico-Koreatown Library, 694 S. Oxford Ave., 90005. Presentation materials from this week’s meeting are now available on the Purple Line website.