September 26, 2011 – Councilmember Tom LaBonge and LACMA West hosted a meeting for local media and interested parties to hear the latest status of two very important transportation projects that will impact our neighborhood in the near future. This post will address the subway extension as it pertains to construction project between Western Avenue and Fairfax…underneath Wilshire Boulevard.
Westside Subway Extension
The Westside Subway Extension is upon us…sort of. The project has been funded through Measure R. This funding will extend the Metro Purple Line nine miles from Western and Wilshire to Westwood/VA Hospital at an estimated cost of $5.3 billion. Currently, Metro is in the final phase of the environmental analysis through the preparation of a Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Final EIS/EIR) and preliminary engineering.
There will be two new stations in our immediate area – one at Wilshire and LaBrea and the other at Wilshire and Fairfax.
Now is the time when Metro figures out exactly where the stations will be located – which corner will be the corner through which future passengers pass down into the bowls of subterranean Wilshire? These decisions are critical to the future of the project’s long term success; but, they also have a rather immediate impact on property owners and their tenants. Many of those potentially affected tenants were at Monday’s meeting and were assured that the city would find a way to accommodate their needs.
City leaders are attempting to accelerate funding under the America Fast Forward Initiative (formerly known as the 30/10 Initiative). Accelerated funding will mean that the entire 9 miles can be built at once and finished by 2024. No matter, our phase is likely to be Phase 1 – with construction scheduled to begin in early 2013. If funding isn’t accelerated, the project is scheduled to be completed in 2036.
Below you will find some links to Metro websites for more information about this project, the funding and a map of what Westside Metro will eventually look like! Also, a short-ish LA Metro video…informative and a good way to get us all thinking about the future.