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Purple Line Extension

The long-awaited Metro Purple Line Subway Extension is now under construction.

From the current terminus at Wilshire/Western, the Purple Line Extension will extend westward for about nine miles with seven new stations. It will provide a high-capacity, high-speed, dependable alternative for those traveling to and from LA’s “second downtown,” including destinations such as Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood.

One of Metro’s priority projects, the first section of the Purple Line Extension is funded by local Measure R funds, approved by voters in November 2008, along with federal “New Starts” matching funds and a low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program.

Currently, the project is scheduled to be built in three phases. Metro is already working with the federal government to obtain matching funds for the second section, while also pursuing opportunities to accelerate funding through the America Fast Forward Initiative that could allow the entire project to be completed sooner.

Los Angeles is closer than ever to making this long-anticipated project a reality, connecting West Los Angeles to the region's growing rail network, and improving mobility for everyone who lives, works and plays throughout Los Angeles County.

Please look through our web site for information on the approved project, information we have shared with the public, how to follow the construction work, and how to share your thoughts and questions with us.


Metro Approves Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Final EIS/EIR)

Metro has approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Final EIS/EIR) for the 9-mile extension of the Metro Rail Purple Line subway.  Beginning at the current Wilshire/Western station, it is planned that the project will add seven new stations:

  • Wilshire/La Brea
  • Wilshire/Fairfax
  • Wilshire/La Cienega
  • Wilshire/Rodeo
  • Century City
  • Westwood/UCLA
  • Westwood/Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital

Background

Over the past 30 years,  tremendous population growth, employment growth, worsening congestion, changing land use and traffic patterns, as well as Metro’s growing challenge to meet transit demands, have all led to the need to improve mobility in the West Los Angeles area.

In fall 2007, Metro began an Alternatives Analysis Study (AA) for the Purple Line Extension Transit Corridor. Over a year-and-a-half, the AA considered whether transit improvement was needed in the area and evaluated different types of transit improvements and alignments. The AA concluded in January 2009 when the Metro Board of Directors decided to move forward with the Draft Environmental Impact Study/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) , which analyzed five subway alternatives.

The Draft EIS/EIR began in Spring 2009 to assess the impacts of alternatives both during construction and once the system is operating, and to look at possible mitigation measures.  Issues addressed as the alternatives were refined included decisions about station locations and ultimate alignments. The Draft EIS/EIR process concluded in October 2010 with Metro’s staff recommendation for a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) to enter into the Final EIS/EIR process.

In Fall 2010, Metro authorized the preparation of the Final Environment Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Final EIS/EIR) to refine the Board-selected LPA, alignment, station and entrance locations, ridership data, costs; mitigation measures and responses to comments on the Draft EIS/EIR document.  The Final EIS/EIR was released in March 2012 for public review.  In April 2012, the Metro Board of Directors certified the Final EIS/EIR and approved the first phase of the project extending it to La Cienega.  In May 2012, the Metro Board approved the second and third phases of the subway extending it to the Westwood/VA Hospital.

Metro and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are partnering to meet the requirements of both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in the environmental assessment of the Purple Line Extension project.

Project Schedule

Release of Final EIS/EIR for public review & Public Open Houses March 2012
Metro Board Approval & Certification of Final EIS/EIR April & May 2012
Secure Record of Decision (ROD) and request federal “New Starts” funding Spring 2012
Secure federal funding, complete engineering, prepare bid documents, award construction contracts, begin pre‐construction activities (surveys, utility relocation, etc.), and complete Final Design. 2012-2015
Began construction 2015

More Information

Please go to Reports & Info to see Study information. If you have questions or want to be notified of upcoming meetings, please go to Contact Us .
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Construction Notices

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Start Date Notice Brief More Info
10/20/2017 Update: Southern California Edison (SCE) Utility Civil Work, Wilshire Blvd. and Reeves Dr.
Area: Wilshire/Reeves

Starting Thursday, October 26, work will begin on northbound Reeves Dr. from 9am-4pm.  Work on Reeves Dr. will take place on Thursdays and Fridays only. 

More information about Update: Southern California Edison (SCE) Utility Civil Work, Wilshire Blvd. and Reeves Dr. in HTML format
10/19/2017 DWP Power Utility Relocation on Constellation Blvd., west of Avenue of the Stars
Area: Constellation/Avenue of the Stars, Constellation/Solar Way

The Department of Water and Power (DWP) will be relocating power utilities on Constellation Blvd. between Solar Way and Avenue of the Stars from October 20th through Thanksgiving 2017 from 7pm to 6am, Mondays – Thursdays and from 7pm, Fridays continuously until Mondays at 6am. 

More information about DWP Power Utility Relocation on Constellation Blvd., west of Avenue of the Stars in HTML format
10/19/2017 Phase 2 Wilshire/La Cienega Intersection Closure for Decking
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega

Beginning Friday, October 20th at 8pm thru Monday, October 23rd, at 6am there will be a full closure of the Wilshire/La Cienega intersection for decking and jet grouting prep. 

More information about Phase 2 Wilshire/La Cienega Intersection Closure for Decking in HTML format
10/13/2017 Construction Week Look Ahead (City of LA + City of Beverly Hills)
Area: Purple Line Section 1

Beginning Monday, October 13th thru Friday, October 20th the design-builder will be conducting:

More information about Construction Week Look Ahead (City of LA + City of Beverly Hills) in HTML format
10/12/2017 Sidewalk Pavement Restoration at Santa Fe Ave. for Maintenance of Way Facility
Area: Santa Fe/Palmetto and Santa Fe/Willow

On Saturday, October 14 and Monday, October 16 through Friday, October 20, from 9am to 3:30pm, Metro contractors will continue restoring the curb, gutter, pavement, and sidewalk along the west side of South Santa Fe Ave. 

More information about Sidewalk Pavement Restoration at Santa Fe Ave. for Maintenance of Way Facility in HTML format
10/11/2017 Wilshire/Western Station Connection: 14 Full Weekend Closures
Area: Wilshire/Western

Metro is working to connect the Purple Line Extension to the current Purple Line terminus at Wilshire/Western station. During the construction activities, Wilshire/Western station will remain open for operation.

More information about Wilshire/Western Station Connection: 14 Full Weekend Closures in HTML format
09/25/2017 Tutor Perini/O &G Industries (TPOG) Geotechnical Boring on Wilshire
Area: Between Wilshire/McCarty and Wilshire/Carson

The Purple Line Extension Subway Project, Section 2 anticipates geotechnical boring work in the City of Beverly Hills beginning in October 2017, pending City Council approval.

More information about Tutor Perini/O &G Industries (TPOG) Geotechnical Boring on Wilshire in HTML format
09/22/2017 Wilshire/La Cienega Decking Full Weekend Closures
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega

In the Wilshire/La Cienega area, decking will occur on Wilshire Bl between San Vicente Bl and mid-way into the Wilshire Bl/La Cienega Bl intersection.

More information about Wilshire/La Cienega Decking Full Weekend Closures in HTML format
09/15/2017 October Closures for Wilshire/Western Pile Installation
Area: Wilshire/Western

Starting in mid-October, pile installation will occur on Wilshire Blvd. between Western Ave. and Manhattan Pl. and within the staging yard located at Wilshire/Manhattan Pl. 

More information about October Closures for Wilshire/Western Pile Installation in HTML format
09/15/2017 Wilshire/La Cienega Phase 1: Wilshire Blvd. Full Closure
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/San Vicente

Beginning Friday, September 15 at 8pm through Monday, September 18, at 6am there will be a full closure of Wilshire Blvd. between La Cienega Blvd. and San Vicente Blvd. 

More information about Wilshire/La Cienega Phase 1: Wilshire Blvd. Full Closure in HTML format
09/14/2017 하수도관 재배치 공사를 위한 Crenshaw 불러바드 동방향 Wilshire불러바드의 폐쇄
Area: Wilshire/Western

9월 16일 (토) 오전 2시부터 오후 11시까지, Wilshire Blvd.와 Western Ave. 교차로 서쪽에 있는 하수도 시스템을 재배치 하기 위해 동방향 Wilshire Blvd.를 폐쇄하게 됩니다. 이 작업으로 인한 교통 통제 구간은 다음과 같습니다.

More information about 하수도관 재배치 공사를 위한 Crenshaw 불러바드 동방향 Wilshire불러바드의 폐쇄 in HTML format
09/14/2017 Eastbound Wilshire Closure at Crenshaw for Sewer Relocation
Area: Wilshire/Crenshaw

On Saturday, September 16, from 2am – 11pm, there will be a closure of eastbound Wilshire Blvd. to allow for the relocation of a sewer system west of the Wilshire Blvd./Western Ave. intersection.

More information about Eastbound Wilshire Closure at Crenshaw for Sewer Relocation in HTML format
09/05/2017 City of Beverly Hills - Wilshire/La Cienega: October Look-Ahead
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega

This monthly notification is an outline of construction activities for the month of October 2017, pending City of Beverly Hills approval. 

More information about City of Beverly Hills - Wilshire/La Cienega: October Look-Ahead in HTML format
09/01/2017 Beverly Hills Update: PM Utility Relocation Work for Wilshire/La Cienega Station
Area: Wilshire/Tower

On Tuesday, September 5th through Wednesday, September 6th (8pm–6:30am), work will continue to perform conduit placement at the intersection of Tower Dr. and Wilshire Blvd.

More information about Beverly Hills Update: PM Utility Relocation Work for Wilshire/La Cienega Station in HTML format
08/25/2017 Beverly Hills Update: PM Utility Relocation Work at Wilshire/La Cienega
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega

On Sunday, August 27th  through Friday, September 1st  (8pm – 6:30am), work will continue to perform conduit placement at the intersection of Tower Dr. and Wilshire Blvd.

More information about Beverly Hills Update: PM Utility Relocation Work at Wilshire/La Cienega in HTML format
08/15/2017 Southern California Gas Utility Relocation at Century City/Constellation Station
Area: Constellation/Solar Way, Century Park East/Avenue of the Stars

On Tuesday, August 15th - Fall 2017, Metro contractors will be relocating Southern California Gas (SCG) utilities, Mondays - Thursdays from 7pm to 6am on Constellation Blvd. between Solar Way and Century Park East and Avenue of the Stars. 

More information about Southern California Gas Utility Relocation at Century City/Constellation Station in HTML format
08/09/2017 Abatement of Non-Recyclable Construction Material Work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd.
Area: Wilshire/Reeves

Beginning Thursday, August 10th, and continuing daily 8am to 6pm for four weeks (except weekends and holidays), Metro contractors will be performing abatement of non-recyclable construction material work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd.

More information about Abatement of Non-Recyclable Construction Material Work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd. in HTML format
08/09/2017 Abatement of Non-Recyclable Construction Material Work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd
Area: Wilshire/Reeves

Beginning Thursday, August 10th, and continuing daily 8am to 6pm for 4 weeks (except weekends and holidays), Metro contractors will be performing abatement of non-recyclable construction material work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd.

More information about Abatement of Non-Recyclable Construction Material Work at 9430 Wilshire Blvd in HTML format
05/05/2017 Extended Closure of North Gale Drive
Area: Wilshire/Gale

Starting Saturday, May 20 thru mid-2018*, Gale Dr. will be closed just north of Wilshire Blvd. to safely support pile installation, street decking, excavation, and associated construction activities.

More information about Extended Closure of North Gale Drive in HTML format
03/27/2017 Beverly Hills: 1-Hour Parking Validation Program
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega

Due to construction activities at Wilshire Blvd./La Cienega Blvd., Metro has launched a 1-hour parking validation program to provide replacement parking for metered spots on Wilshire Blvd between San Vicente and La Cienega.     

More information about Beverly Hills: 1-Hour Parking Validation Program in HTML format
03/21/2017 Uber/Lyft: 10-minute Customer Loading Zone for 8383 Wilshire
Area: Wilshire/San Vicente, Wilshire/Gale

To promote public safety, a new 10-minute customer loading zone has been in installed in the City of Beverly Hills on San Vicente Bl. for access to the 8383 Wilshire building.

More information about Uber/Lyft: 10-minute Customer Loading Zone for 8383 Wilshire in HTML format
03/21/2017 Uber/Lyft: Prohibido el ascenso y descenso en Gale Dr
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Gale

Para promover la seguridad pública, se instaló una zona de ascenso de 10 minutos para clientes en la ciudad de Beverly Hills en San Vicente Bl. para el acceso al edificio 8383 Wilshire.

More information about Uber/Lyft: Prohibido el ascenso y descenso en Gale Dr in HTML format
03/21/2017 Uber/Lyft: Gale Dr 상 승차/하차 금지
Area: Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Gale

공공 안전 진흥을 위해, 비벌리힐스 시의 San Vicente Bl. 상에 8383 Wilshire 빌딩에 접근하기 위한 10분 승객 탑승구역이 신설되었습니다. Uber 및 Lyft 기사는 8383 Wilshire 빌딩의 승객들을 정해진 장소에서 승차 및 하차해 주실 것을 권합니다.

More information about Uber/Lyft: Gale Dr 상 승차/하차 금지 in HTML format

Frequently Asked Questions

Metro broke ground in November 2014 on the first section of the long-awaited extension of the Purple Line subway to the Westside of Los Angeles. The full nine-mile project will bring fast, reliable mass transit to some of LA’s busiest destinations including Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood.

This set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provides an overview of the project including the work that will occur to prepare for construction and during construction. The FAQs will continue to be updated as the project proceeds.

Subjects discussed in these FAQs include:

Project Overview

1. What is the approved Purple Line Extension project?

The approved project will extend the Metro Purple Line subway nine miles west from the current terminus at Wilshire/Western and add seven new stations. Construction for the first section of the project is due to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2023. It will add stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega. The full project includes additional stations at Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City, Westwood/UCLA, and the Westwood/VA Hospital. Please refer to question 4 for more information on each of the sections and their timing.

2. Has the project been fully approved?

In April and May 2012, the Metro Board of Directors approved the project and certified its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Report (FEIS/FEIR). The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) then issued a Record of Decision for the project signifying the end of the federal environmental review process. These combined actions signify the conclusion of all environmental reviews and approvals required for the project to proceed.

Approved Purple Line Extension Project

3. What was the process that led to these approvals?

Extensive and thorough planning, analysis and environmental review for the Purple Line Extension occurred from 2007 to 2012 in accordance with both state and federal environmental analysis guidelines. This incorporated in-depth analysis of the project evaluating numerous alternatives, and extensive community outreach. This work is thoroughly documented in the Alternatives Analysis (AA) Study , Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIS/EIR) and Final EIS/EIR . The Metro Board of Directors was provided with regular updates and made decisions at key milestones throughout this process.

Key Dates

  • Fall 2007: Metro begins Alternatives Analysis (AA)
  • January 2009: Metro Board of Directors approves the AA Study and directs staff to further evaluate various heavy-rail subway alignments in the Draft EIS/EIR.
  • October 2010: Metro Board of Directors approves the Draft EIS/EIR and selects the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for further analysis in the Final EIS/EIR.
  • April 2012: Metro Board of Directors certifies the Final EIS/EIR and approves the route and stations locations for the first section of the project to Wilshire/La Cienega.
  • May 2012: Metro Board of Directors approves the route and station locations for the remaining portion of the project to the terminus at Westwood/VA Hospital.
  • August 2012: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issues a Record of Decision for the project.

Please go to the Reports and Info section of the project website, metro.net/purplelineext to view information that was produced as a part of these studies including reports to the Metro Board of Directors, additional technical reports, fact sheets, and meeting presentations.

4. What is included in each of the sections of the Purple Line Extension and when will they be completed?

Current funding streams allow the project to be built in three phases, or sections, with the initial phase to Wilshire/La Cienega planned to open in 2023. Under this three-phase scenario, the total project is forecast to cost $6.3 billion based on the schedule shown in the chart below:

Project Schedule

Section 1 Section 2 Section 3
Length 3.92 Miles 2.59 Miles 2.59 Miles
New Stations

Wilshire/La Brea

Wilshire/Fairfax Wilshire/La Cienega

Wilshire/Rodeo

Century City/Constellation

Westwood/UCLA Westwood/VA Hospital

Pre-Construction Activities

Complete 2016-2018 2016-2018
Construction 2015-2023 2018-2024 2018-2024
Operations 2023 2024* 2024*

*Metro's goal is to complete the entire Purple Line Extension by 2024 if federal matching funds for Section 3 are secured.

Metro is pursuing alternate funding scenarios that would accelerate subway construction. This chart will be updated as new information becomes available.

5. Will the lawsuits filed by the City of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District impact the schedule for completion of the subway?

Metro does not anticipate that the current lawsuits will have any effect on the schedule for Section 1 of the Purple Line Extension or the subsequent sections.

6. Is Metro able to do any work in sections two or three of the Purple Line Extension to prepare for eventual construction in those areas?

In January 2013, the Metro Board of Directors authorized that work continue to complete Advance Preliminary Engineering for Section 2 that extends the subway farther west from La Cienega to Century City. This is intended to allow for continuity of key engineering staff needed to complete solicitation packages to select a Design/Build contractor for that portion of the Purple Line Extension when funding becomes available.

7. Does the Measure R Project Finance Acceleration Plan that was recently adopted by the Metro Board of Directors allow Sections 2 or 3 of the Purple Line Extension to be built any sooner than the schedule shown in Question 4?

Measure R provides funding to various projects throughout the County over 30 years. Metro is continuing to pursue a variety of strategies that would accelerate the completion of projects funded in the second and third decades of Measure R including Sections 2 and 3 of the Purple Line Extension. The Acceleration Plan approved by the Metro Board of Directors in June 2013 is intended to keep these projects ready to move forward should funding become available. At this point, it does not however change the current schedule for completion of Sections 2 and 3 of the subway. Nor does it change the schedule of when Metro would begin pre-construction activities, including utility relocation or appraisals and acquisition of properties for those sections of the subway. See question 10 for more information on Measure R.

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Cost & Funding

8. What will the project cost and how is it funded?

The total project is forecast to cost $6.3 billion based on the three-phase scenario and schedule shown in the chart in Question 4.  About three-fourths of those funds are generated locally from Measure R, the half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.  Metro is seeking the remainder in federal matching funds through the New Starts Program. Metro is pursuing alternate funding scenarios that would accelerate subway construction possibly allowing the entire nine-mile project to be built at a reduced cost and opened sooner.

9. What is the status of the federal funding for the Purple Line Extension?

In May 2014, Metro secured a Full Funding Grant Agreement for the first section of the Purple Line Extension from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The federal funding combined with the local funds provided by Measure R, has provided sufficient funds to begin construction of Section 1 of the extension.

10. What is Measure R?

Measure R is the half-cent sales tax that was approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. The funds are being collected over 30 years for transportation purposes including several new transit and highway projects around the County, as well as bus and rail operations. Measure R also provides funding to cities in Los Angeles County for transportation purposes.

The Purple Line Extension is one of the transit projects specifically included in Measure R. The 30-year Measure R funding schedule for this project allows it to be built in three phases according to the schedule shown in Question 4.

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Ridership & Travel Time

11. How many people will ride the Purple Line Extension?

Based on the analysis conducted during the Final EIS/EIR, the Purple Line Extension to the Westwood/VA Hospital station will generate about 49,300 daily weekday boardings at the seven new stations. Using a different measure, there will be about 78,000 new daily trips on the full Metro Rail System as a result of opening this line.

12. How often will the trains run?

During peak periods, trains are expected to run every four minutes. During off-peak periods, they are expected to run every 10 minutes.

13. How long will it take to travel to the Westside on the subway from various destinations around LA County?

It is projected to take about 25 minutes to travel between downtown Los Angeles and Westwood on the subway. See the chart below for travel times from other areas around the County.

Travel between Westwood and downtown Los Angeles will take 25 minutes when the Purple Line Extension is complete. This chart also shows travel times between Westwood and other areas of Los Angeles County.

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Stations

14. Where will the stations and station entrances be located?

The full nine-mile extension of the Purple Line includes seven new stations. Each is shown below along with the entrance location(s). Metro will fund one full entrance at six of the seven stations. Metro will fund two full entrances at the Westwood/UCLA station due to the high number of boardings anticipated there. A full entrance contains two escalators, two elevators and stairs.

Station

Approved Metro-Funded Entrance Location(s)

Wilshire/La Brea

Northwest corner of Wilshire/La Brea

Wilshire/Fairfax

Southeast corner of Wilshire/Orange Grove

Wilshire/La Cienega

Northeast corner of Wilshire/La Cienega

Wilshire/Rodeo

Southwest corner of Wilshire/Reeves

Century City

Preferred location at northeast corner of Constellation/Avenue of Stars;
Alternate location at southwest corner of Constellation/Avenue of Stars.

Westwood/UCLA

One entrance on UCLA Lot 36 near northwest corner of Wilshire/Gayley; and, One split entrance on northwest and southwest corners of Wilshire/ Westwood Blvd.

Westwood/VA Hospital

Southeast corner Wilshire/Bonsall

15. Could there be additional entrances added to the stations? How could that happen?

All of the stations are being designed to provide for additional entrances either at the time of initial construction or at a later date. New entrances could be included if additional funding can be secured. At two locations so far, adjacent property owners have expressed interest in working with Metro to provide and fund additional entrances. They are:

Wilshire/Fairfax : The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has indicated an interest in providing a station entrance on the north side of Wilshire Boulevard directly across from the one planned for the northeast corner of Wilshire and Orange Grove.

Century City : In the event that a primary station entrance on the northeast corner of Constellation/Avenue of the Stars is not deemed feasible because of changes in conditions to that property as it is developed, an alternate site has been identified on the southwest corner on the Century Plaza Hotel property. The Century Plaza Hotel has committed in their development agreement with the City of Los Angeles to work with Metro for a possible subway entrance on their property if necessary. Westfield has also indicated an interest in providing a station entrance with a direct connection to their Century City Shopping Center.

Conversations with these entities are ongoing and it is still too early to say whether or not the additional entrances will be able to be built.

16. How big are the stations?

Each station is essentially like a multi-story underground building on its side. The station boxes are approximately 800-1,000 feet long and 70 feet wide. Every station will incorporate a lower-level platform that is 450 feet long where passengers will board the train, and an upper-level concourse for ticketing. Other space is needed to accommodate various station equipment rooms for power, ventilation, and communications. Station boxes are longer where cross-over tracks are required. See our Station Fact Sheet and our Construction Fact Sheet for more information.

17. What will the stations look like?

Metro’s new stations will be designed and built based on the latest knowledge about building transit systems around the world, and from recent local experience. Metro is working to design stations that are user-friendly, easily recognized as part of the Metro system, efficient, durable, have world-class architectural quality, and perform well. The mission and goals of this effort are to:

  • Improve the convenience of Metro’s rail system through station designs that are more user-friendly;
  • Improve the maintainability of the stations by employing a toolkit of more standardized design elements and materials; and,
  • Raise the bar of station design to keep pace with other world-class systems.

18. Will there be art at the stations?

Metro commissions artists to create engaging and thought-provoking artworks to make the transit journey more inviting and pleasurable. Public art is incorporated into all Metro stations, weaving a multi-layered tapestry that mirrors Los Angeles County’s rich contemporary and popular cultures. As station design advances, Metro will identify artwork locations and orchestrate artist selection. Artists are selected through a peer review process, with community input. All artworks are created especially for their transit-related sites.

The goal of the art program is to:

  • Provide a world class art program that enriches the Metro transit environment;
  • Transform and enhance the customer’s journey;
  • Strengthen Metro’s ties with the communities it serves and add to their artistic vibrancy;
  • Champion contemporary artworks by established and emerging artists created specifically for these transit sites; and,
  • Create artworks that are safe, durable and easily maintainable to ensure their permanence as cultural landmarks.

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Before Construction Begins

19. What are the next steps in the process before construction begins?

Construction for the first section of the project is scheduled to begin in 2015. Until then, various pre-construction activities will occur. These include:

  • Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA): Metro received federal matching funds through the Federal New Starts Program.
  • Develop location-specific construction mitigations: Metro is working with the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, and the community to develop the details of construction mitigations outlined in the Mitigation Monitoring & Reporting Plan (MMRP) in the Final EIS/EIR .
  • Real estate appraisals & acquisitions: The Final EIS/EIR identified properties needed for construction and operation of the project. These are generally where property is required temporarily for construction staging for the stations and for permanent station entrances. See question 20 and our Construction Fact Sheet and our Property Acquisition Fact Sheet for more information.
  • Pre-construction surveys: Metro is currently compiling extensive information about the properties, structures and businesses located near construction sites and above tunnels in the first section of the subway.
  • Community outreach: Community outreach will continue to keep stakeholders informed and up to date with project information.
  • Relocation office: Metro will open a Relocation Office near the project alignment. Notices will be sent to tenants advising them of opening.
  • Continue field testing: Metro has continued field testing in the first section of the subway similar to work that was done for technical studies during the environmental analysis. Communities closest to the work locations are being informed.
  • Utility Relocation: Prior to the start of construction, any utilities which could be impacted by tunnel or station construction in the first section of the subway are being relocated to ensure continued service. Communities closest to the work locations are being informed. See question 18 and our Advanced Utility Relocation and Exploratory Shaft Fact Sheet for more information.
  • Paleontological resource removal and soils testing: Metro contractors have finished construction on an exploratory shaft on the southwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ogden Drive, near the La Brea Tar Pits where there are higher levels of tar sands and geologic conditions that are expected to contain fossils. The exploratory shaft has provided better evaluation of the unique ground conditions in this area and provided information that will be used for the final design of the Wilshire/Fairfax station. See question 19 and our Advanced Utility Relocation and Exploratory Shaft Fact Sheet for more information.

20. Tell me more about the utility relocation work that will occur during the pre-construction period.

Facilities for various utilities run beneath city streets. This can include service for electricity, water, gas, telecommunications, cable, etc. Relocating utilities is an expected and important step in preparing for subway construction. Since stations are built by excavating from the ground down, utility relocation is typically needed at the station locations. The tunnels between the stations are bored with little if any surface disruption, typically below the level of the utilities. The utility companies or Metro contractors will be working to relocate utilities in order to avoid service disruptions to customers. Communities located closest to the utility relocation work will continue to be notified in advance when this work will occur. See our Advanced Utility Relocation and Exploratory Shaft Fact Sheet for more information.

21. What is the purpose of the exploratory shaft near Fairfax and what will that work entail?

Metro contractors constructed an exploratory shaft to further assess ground conditions for the future Wilshire/Fairfax Station. Located on the southwest corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ogden Drive, the shaft will provide additional information about earth pressure and gas conditions to gain a better understanding of the unique ground conditions that Metro will encounter building the subway tunnels and station in the vicinity of the La Brea Tar Pits. This information will build upon data gathered during the environmental analysis for the project. In March 2014, the excavation of the 40 x 20 x 75 feet deep shaft was completed and Metro contractors began monitoring the ground conditions the following month. In September 2014, the shaft was filled in and restored and the Design-Builder is scheduled to take ownership of the site for a staging yard in early 2015. See our Advanced Utility Relocation and Exploratory Shaft Fact Sheet for more information.

Since the work is near the La Brea Tar Pits, there was a possibility that fossil deposits will be encountered. There was a paleontologist on-call at all times and on-site during shaft excavation in the fossil-bearing layers of earth. All fossil discoveries were carefully removed and turned over to the George C. Page Museum. Removal methods were pre-approved by the Page Museum staff.

22. When will Metro start negotiating with property owners for subsurface easements, or buying or leasing property for station entrances and construction areas?

Now that the project has received a federal Record of Decision (ROD), Metro’s Real Estate Department has begun acquiring the properties and underground easements needed for the first section of the subway. See Question 4 for the anticipated timing of pre-construction activities for the other sections of the subway.

Metro is required by State and Federal law to provide just compensation to property owners for the purchase or use of their property, including temporary and permanent easements. Just compensation is defined as the fair market value of the property or easement as determined by an independent real estate property appraiser. Prior to making an offer, Metro obtains an independent appraisal for each property that considers a variety of factors including location, size, the highest and best use of the property consistent with current zoning, the impact of the subway on future development potential, the depth of the tunnels below the surface, and other factors.

Metro will seek to reach a negotiated agreement with a property owner wherever possible. Ample time will be allowed for the property owner to obtain their own appraisal and for negotiations. If a negotiated agreement cannot be accomplished, Metro may exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire the property as a last resort.

Metro’s Real Estate Department will open a Relocation Office near the project alignment. Notices will be sent to tenants advising them about the opening date.

See our Property Acquisition Fact Sheet for more information.

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Construction, Impacts & Mitigations

23. How will the subway be built?

The tunnels will be bored below ground using pressurized, closed-face tunnel boring machines (TBMs). This method represents a significant improvement in tunneling in the  25 years since Metro began underground rail construction. This is the technology that was used very successfully for the tunnels on the Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension that opened in 2009.  Stations are built by excavating from the ground down, and most of the station construction activity occurs under concrete street decking so traffic can continue to flow above the construction site. See our Construction Fact Sheet for more information.

24. What kind of impacts will there be from construction of the Purple Line Extension?

There is no way to build the subway without some impact. Between stations, tunneling will have little if any impact on the surface. Most of the impacts will be concentrated at the station locations with the greatest impacts occurring at the beginning and end of station construction. In station areas, detours and temporary lane closures will be required for initial station excavation and to install the concrete street decking. These same measures will be required toward the end of station construction to remove the decking and reconstruct the street. In the approximately five years in between, while the station is being constructed under the decking, impact to surface street traffic will largely be limited to trucks hauling construction materials and excavated soil on designated haul routes. Other impacts at construction sites could be:

  • Noise, dust, vibration or the visual appearance at construction sites;
  • Noise and vibration from below ground construction activities; or
  • Impacts to merchants near construction sites. See our Construction Fact Sheet for more information.

25. What steps will be taken to reduce impacts of construction?

There is, of course, no way to construct a major infrastructure project without any impacts. As part of the Final EIS/EIR , Metro produced a Mitigation Monitoring & Reporting Plan that outlines the steps that will be used to avoid or reduce significant impacts of project construction. Metro will work to minimize impacts on businesses, residents and property owners, as well as other project stakeholders. Mitigation measures might include setting construction times to reduce specific impacts or shorten the overall duration of certain construction activities, fencing and sound walls around staging areas, locating earth removal locations near major streets and freeways, specifying haul routes, etc. Improved communications, including signage and advertising, are typically employed to help maintain access and encourage ongoing patronage to businesses. In addition, Metro has established procedures to document existing conditions at properties along the subway construction alignment in advance of construction to accurately assess and address any damage claims that may arise. These will be implemented by Metro’s contractors. Metro has been working with the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills on mitigation efforts and has community outreach staff available during construction to respond to any issues that may arise.

26. Will I be impacted by subway construction if the tunnels run beneath my property?

The extension of the Purple Line will operate mostly under Wilshire Boulevard – however, there are segments where this is not possible. In the second section of the subway, the tunnel will need to pass below homes and businesses in southwest Beverly Hills as well as below a small portion of Beverly Hills High School in order to reach the Century City station. For the third section of the subway, the tunnel will also have to travel beneath residential and commercial property between Century City and Westwood. The tunnels are generally 50 - 70 feet deep though in some areas extend to depths of greater than 100 feet.

Few if any surface impacts are anticipated from tunnel construction between the stations. Unlike the stations which are excavated from the surface, tunnels are bored completely below ground utilizing the latest tunneling technology. See question 21 and our Construction Fact Sheet for more information.

27. What about once the subway is operating? Will I be able hear or feel the trains if my property is directly above the tunnels?

In most areas, the depth of the tunnels and soil conditions will make the noise and vibration undetectable at the surface.  The Final EIS/EIR found that there were only three locations where noise and vibration from subway operations would exceed thresholds established by the FTA and that these impacts could be fully mitigated. One of these is an apartment building near La Brea. The other two are theaters – specifically the Wilshire/Ebell Theater near Crenshaw Boulevard and the Saban Theater near La Cienega. There are specific federal noise and vibration thresholds for theaters. Appropriate mitigation measures will be included in the tunnel trackwork design to mitigate any impacts to these properties. No other properties are expected to have ongoing noise or vibration impacts that require mitigation. Metro’s subway tunnels today have been in operation for more than 15 years and pass beneath numerous properties. Metro has not received any complaints from those living or working above the tunnels or stations.

28. Where will the earth removal occur and what haul routes will be used to dispose of the material?

Earth from station excavation will be removed at each of the station sites. Earth that is excavated for the tunnels between the stations using the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be removed at three locations – Wilshire/La Brea, Century City and the Westwood/VA Hospital. These are also the locations where the TBMs are planned to be lowered into the ground and launched.  The proposed truck haul routes for earth removal identified in the Final EIS/EIR are conceptual and may be updated and revised once a construction contractor has been selected and additional information, such as construction sequencing, is finalized. In addition, the proposed routes will be subject to the approval of Metro and appropriate Federal, State, and local agencies. As much as possible, haul routes are planned for major thoroughfares and freeways, and to avoid residential areas. To minimize peak-period traffic disruption, haul truck activity is anticipated to take place during off- peak and nighttime periods. See Chapter 3 of the Final EIS/EIR for more information.

29. What will happen to the properties Metro uses for construction staging sites once the subway is built?

If Metro has leased the property, it will be returned to the owner following completion of construction. If Metro is the owner of the property and has no further need for it, the land may either be sold or made available for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in partnership with Metro. If a TOD project is feasible, Metro will typically issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking development proposals for the particular property. Through a competitive process, Metro would select what it feels is the best development option for the site that will also generate revenue to offset subway construction and operation expenses. In all cases, any future development of these properties would be subject to local planning and approval processes.

The W Hotel in Hollywood was built above the entrance to the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line station after the subway opened.

30. I understand Metro is using a “design-build” method in contracting for subway construction. Can you explain what this means?

Design-Build refers to a project delivery method in which the designer is an integral part of the construction contractor’s team, performing final design from preliminary engineering that is provided by Metro. This method differs from the Design-Bid-Build project delivery method in which the owner (Metro) retains a designer to produce a final design that is then solicited for construction bids. The advantage to Design-Build is that it gives the Design-Builder the opportunity to provide innovative and more cost-effective design solutions with the potential of cost and schedule savings.

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Safety

31. What precautions will be taken to ensure tunnel and station safety in areas with gassy soil?

Safety, both during construction and eventual operations, is Metro’s highest priority. It was one of the key evaluation criteria used throughout subway planning.

Subway tunnels will be built through the use of closed-face, pressurized tunnel boring machines (TBMs). During construction, these pressure-face TBMs reduce gas exposure for workers and the public, while gassy soil and tar sands are treated and disposed of appropriately. Enhanced ventilation systems will be used where necessary to ensure tunnel and station safety and, if necessary, double gaskets for the tunnel lining or other measures may also be installed.

Where needed, tunnels and stations will be built to provide a redundant protection system against gas intrusion. This might include:

  • Physical barriers to keep gas out of the tunnels
  • High volume ventilation systems
  • Gas detection systems with alarms
  • Emergency ventilation triggered by the gas detection systems.

During construction and operations, safety codes require rigorous and continuous gas monitoring, alarms, automatic equipment shut-off and additional personnel training.

32. How can subways be built and operate safely in an area with earthquake faults?

Many underground facilities – subway tunnels, sewers, storm drains, and buildings with deep basements and underground parking garages – have been built in Los Angeles and throughout California near active fault zones. California has some of the strictest building standards when it comes to designing infrastructure to withstand earthquakes.

One of the initial steps in planning the subway was to identify fault zones located in the area and understand their characteristics. The goal in planning the subway is to avoid fault zones if possible. If that is not possible, then every effort is made to minimize exposure by crossing the fault zone(s) in a perpendicular orientation. Various special engineering techniques are employed in fault zones to reduce risk, limit damage that may occur, and allow for a swift return to regular operations should a seismic event take place. These techniques include constructing larger diameter tunnels such as those built for the Metro Red Line between the Hollywood/Highland and Universal City Stations, or utilizing secondary or enhanced tunnel linings, and other measures to accommodate ground movement in fault zones. No transit agency in North America has knowingly built a subway station within a known active fault zone. In fact, the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project – another Metro project currently under construction – moved the location of its planned La Brea station to avoid having it sit atop the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone.

Metro conducted detailed geotechnical and seismic investigations for the Purple Line Extension and prepared detailed reports of the findings. The results of these studies are contained in Chapter 4 of the Final EIS/EIR . There are also two technical reports, the Tunneling Safety Report and Fault Investigation Report that relate specifically to the findings in the Century City area.

Subways throughout the world have excellent records of withstanding major earthquakes over the last 25 years. Some examples include:

Earthquake

Date

Magnitude

Impact on Subway

Mexico City

1985

8.1

No damage to tunnels. Some power disruption.
Patrons evacuated safely. Used to transport rescue personnel.

Loma Prieta (SF)

1989

6.9

No damage to tunnels. Subway served as lifeline structure.

Northridge

1994

6.7

No damage

Kobe, Japan

1995

7.2

No damage to tunnels. Damage to station and sewer
pipes – attributed to 1962 design with moderate seismic provision

Taipei

2002

6.8

No damage

Chile

2010

8.8

Running next day. Some damage at entrance to
stations

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Miscellaneous

33. How many jobs will this project create?

The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation issued a report in June 2012 indicating that the construction of the entire nine-mile Purple Line Extension would generate 52,500 jobs within the region.

34. Will the subway ever be extended to the sea?

The currently adopted Long Range Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County commits planned funding to extend the Purple Line to the Westwood/VA Hospital. If new funding sources are identified, Metro could revisit the possibility of extending the line further west.

35. I understand Metro is not planning to add any parking at the stations. How will I be able to use the station near me?

Metro is working to design the stations with improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities, as well as easy transfers to buses and local shuttles that easily connect with other key destinations. It is also anticipated that existing public and private parking facilities in the areas around stations will likely make parking available to subway patrons, particularly if employees in some of the Westside employment areas switch to the subway thereby freeing up a parking space in existing parking facilities. Metro will work with adjacent private parking operators to develop shared parking arrangements.

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Public Involvement

36. Will there be further opportunities for public input on the project?

During the course of pre-construction and construction, the public will be kept apprised of updates to the project. Metro will hold Construction Community Meetings every other month for Section 1 beginning January 2015.

Notices for upcoming meetings will be posted on the Purple Line Extension website under Upcoming Meetings . Metro has a Station Advisory Group for the first section of subway comprised of community representatives from the areas closest to the stations – residents and homeowner associations, neighborhood councils, institutions, businesses, business associations, property owners, etc. Metro will continue to meet with key stakeholders as needed.

37. How can I stay involved?

You can opt-in to receive future updates on the project and meeting notices by visiting the project website, metro.net/purplelineext , and going to Contact Us. You can leave a message for us at the project hotline at 213.922.6934 or purplelineext@metro.net. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/purplelineext or you can follow us on Twitter Twitter.com/purplelineext .

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Contact Us

Construction Relations Team – Section 1, Western to La Cienega

Construction Relations – Section 2 and 3, west of La Cienega

Community Relations

Community Relations – Section 2 and 3, west of La Cienega

Media Relations


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