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Purple Line Extension Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM)

The two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) for the Purple Line Extension Transit Project Section 1 will be used to dig two parallel tunnels that will connect three new stations betwen Koreatown and Beverly Hills.

The TBMs will dig side by side starting at Wilshire/La Brea in the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles and continue towards Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Then they will be disassembled for transporting back to Wilshire/La Brea and then reassembled for the last leg of their journey through Wilshire/Fairfax and finishing at Wilshire/La Cienega in Beverly Hills.

When will they start work?

The TBMs will start work in Summer 2018 after they have been assembled and tested.

Students K- 12 – Enter our contests!

Before the TBMs start their incredible tunneling journey, students are encouraged to enter our art and naming contests for a chance to win awesome prizes and be featured on the TBMs!

For grades K-5

For grades 6-12

For more information about the TBMs check out this factsheet .

  • Follow The Twins on Twitter for weekly updates on her progress and more.

Tunnel mining on Wilshire Bl

The Purple Line Extension Transit Project will construct two parallel tunnels to create a seamless connection from the current Purple Line Wilshire/Western Station in Koreatown to three new stations located at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, and Wilshire/La Cienega.

The new 3.4 mile railway will be constructed using a combination of tunnel boring machine and an “open-cut” methods. The Twins will be responsible for approximately 17,845 linear feet of tunneling, as they travel under Wilshire Bl. Each tunnel will take approximately 24 months to complete.

Along the way, The Twins will encounter different soil conditions. The tunnel crown will always be at least 20 feet or more under the subsurface water table.

In terms of geology, tunnels will be bored through two types of geological formations: San Pedro and Fernando.

The following ground conditions may be encountered during tunneling:

  • Full face San Pedro
  • Mixed face ~ Top San Pedro and bottom Fernando
  • Full face Fernando
  • Between STA~490+00 (Dunsmuir Av) and 540+00 (Crescent Heights Bl) equals~ 5,000 linear feet. These three ground types will also be saturated with tar (with various percentages of saturation/presence).

Tunneling Statistics

Progress is measured in total linear feet traveled and the number of rings they build.

Reach

Linear Feet

Location

1

9,570

La Brea Bl to Western Av

2

4,440

La Brea Bl to Fairfax Av

3

3,280

Fairfax Av to La Cienega Bl

4

555

La Cienega Bl to tail track west of La Cienega Bl

Totals: approximately 17,845 linear feet or 3.4 miles; two tunnels equal approximately 35,690 linear feet or approximately 6.8 miles.

  • Follow The Twins on Twitter for weekly updates on her progress and more.

Naming Contest

We’re having twins, and need your help naming them. Name the TBMs for a chance to make history! Enter to win fun prizes and the opportunity to have the names you’ve chosen displayed on the #PurpleLineTBMs. #twinning

Submit your entry by October 15, 2017

Why do we name the TBM?

Traditionally, TBMs cannot start work until it is given a name. TBMs are generally named after women as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. History shows that workers looked to Saint Barbara for protection; she is the patron saint for military engineers, miners and others who work underground.

How do I enter?

  • Submit an essay of 200 words (or less) or 2-minute (or less) video explaining the reasoning behind your chosen names for the TBMs.
  • Tell us about the significance of the name you have chosen and how it relates to your community, transportation or engineering. Have fun and be creative, witty and clever!
  • Names can be real or fictional. All entries must be female names or characters.
  • The winner will receive a prize bundle worth over $350.
  • You must be a student in 6th through 12th grade to enter.
  • You can also submit your entry by mail or drop-off in person to:

Purple Line Extension Project Office
Attn: TBM Naming Contest
5055 Wilshire Bl, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90036

  • Or submit your entry by filling out the below form

Naming Contest Form

SUBMIT ENTRY

Submit your entry by October 15, 2017

Check back for announcements to vote for your favorite art and names for the TBM.

  • Follow The Twins on Twitter for weekly updates on her progress and more.

Art Contest

We are looking for artwork to decorate our TBMs! Enter to win fun prizes and the opportunity to have your artwork displayed on the #PurpleLineTBM #twinning

Submit your entry by October 15, 2017

Why do we need the TBM?

The Purple Line Extension Transit Project is using two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) to dig two parallel tunnels needed for trains to travel from Koreatown to Beverly Hills.

How do I enter?

  • Create one piece of artwork that shows what your ideal community looks like. Be sure to include the Purple Line Extension Transit Project.
  • The winner will receive a prize bundle worth over $350 and have their displayed on the #PurpleLineTBM
  • The artwork you submit can be a painting, drawing, or a collage.
  • Your entry must be no larger than 8.5” x 11” and lay flat.
  • You must be a student in Kindergarten through 6th grade to enter.
  • You can also submit your entry by mail or drop-off in person to:

Purple Line Extension Project Office
Attn: TBM Art Contest
5055 Wilshire Bl, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90036

  • Or submit your entry by filling out the below form

Art Contest Form

SUBMIT ENTRY

Submit your entry by October 15, 2017

Check back for announcements to vote for your favorite art and names for the TBM.

  • Follow The Twins on Twitter for weekly updates on her progress and more.

Please use the materials below to learn more about the Regional Connector Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM).

Follow The Twins on Twitter for weekly updates on her progress and more.


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