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Metro's About to Build Huge Exploratory Shaft Near the Tar Pits

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Even with Beverly Hills declaring war, the Purple Line subway extension is moving ahead. News broke last week that the Federal Transit Administration granted a "record of decision" for the nine-mile project connecting Koreatown with Westwood, indicating Metro completed all its environmental requirements and allowing the agency to apply for federal funds. The federal thumbs up sets the stage for more work to start, reports the website of County Supervisor and Metro board member Zev Yaroslavsky. Early utility relocation begins this month; meanwhile, "contractors for Metro soon will begin building an 'exploratory shaft' near the La Brea Tar Pits to help the agency evaluate the area's 'unique ground conditions.'"

The 40 by 20 by 75 foot shaft will be built under a parking lot on the southwest corner of Wilshire and Ogden, across from LACMA. The tunnel will help engineers better understand ground pressure and gassy conditions, as well as demonstrate safe construction procedures and refine cost estimates. Work on the shaft will take 13 months and starts this fall; engineers will keep it around for another year for research.

Meanwhile, Metro is hiring a full-time paleontologist, as there are so many fossils in this area. Luckily for the dino doctor, the Page Museum is across the street.

Hardcore work on the subway begins in 2014 and the train should open to La Cienega in 2020, though that could be advanced should the Measure R2 tax pass and/or the feds give Metro a giant loan for the project.
· Fed OK gets subway moving [Zev Yaroslavsky]
· Purple Line Extension Archives [Curbed LA]