By Toi Creel
A project that has been in the works for several years: LA Metro’s Purple Line Extension. It’s a rail project that will speed up the time it takes to travel between downtown Los Angeles, the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills and Westwood.
However, similar to any project, the company has ran into some difficulties: tar sand conditions are driving costs up.
Construction for the $2.8 billion 3.9-mile WPLE1 section began in 2014, with tunneling beginning in mid-2918 and was expected to be completed by 2023. In mid-2018, Metro celebrated the beginning of tunneling.
According to LA Streets.blog,
“Through January of this year, Construction Committee reporting showed the project status as “on target” to meet cost and schedule projections. Starting with the February Construction Committee report, the project cost began to be flagged as a possible problem. In a May report, Metro’s construction program announced that WPLE1 is facing a potential cost overrun, with an anticipated adjustment to the project budget expected in fiscal year 2020-21.”
When looking at a February 2020 project newsletter, builders encountered tar sands and methane pockets as well as difficulties from working with third party builders.
So far, the company has been able to make progress with parallel tunnels (three miles worth) below Wilshire Boulevard from Western Avenue to Fairfax Avenue.
Metro dode have to complete another mile from Fairfax to La Cienega Boulevard that’s expected to be significantly challenging.
The project is still anticipated to be mostly complete in 2023, and open to the public in 2024. The $2.8 billion budget, still stands though it’s expected a committee will take a look and revisit the number.