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Metro's Regional Connector project hits a milestone in Little Tokyo

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Make way for the boring machine

Across Downtown, there's plenty of evidence that construction on Metro's Regional Connector—a project that will bring three new subway stations to the area and connect the Blue, Expo, and Gold lines—is in full swing.

But in Little Tokyo, which is where one of those new stations is being built, at First Street and Central Avenue, work is about to move off the street and underground, reports Metro's news blog The Source. It says, "construction at the easternmost end of the Connector’s route is now fully underground and behind barriers."

In order to reach this project benchmark, workers successfully installed piles and deck panels across the intersection of 1st and Alameda, adjacent to the Gold Line’s existing Little Tokyo/Arts District station.

This progress allows crews to continue mining operations beneath the thoroughfare and make way for the tunnel boring machine and tunneling operations to begin in early 2017.

The Regional Connector hit the Little Tokyo milestone last week. A new video from Metro shows some recent images from the construction site.

Because the work is fully underground now, all lanes of traffic at Alameda and First are once again open. Metro has also added new "high-visibility" crosswalks at the intersection.

Lots of work is going on underground at the site in preparation for the huge tunneling machine to be brought in in early 2017.

The Regional Connector will also bring stations to Second and Broadway and Second and Hope, near the Disney Concert Hall. The project is expected to open in 2021.