The first phase of LA’s subway to the Westside is now halfway finished.
Once complete, the first phase of the $3.1 billion project will bring the Purple Line from Koreatown’s Wilshire/Western Station to the intersection of Wilshire and La Cienega boulevards on the eastern edge of Beverly Hills.
Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl said Sunday those four miles are “on track” to open in 2023.
“Construction is never easy, but Metro is successfully building the Purple Line Extension through one of the most congested urban corridors in the entire country while keeping the hassle-factor pretty low for most people,” said Kuehl.
Eventually, the train will extend all the way to the VA Medical Center, just west of the 405 freeway, connecting with Century City and Westwood along the way. That portion of the project will be completed in two separate phases, which Metro aims to open by 2025 and 2027, respectfully.
Metro officials promise that when the train is complete, it will travel from Downtown LA to Brentwood in a brisk 25 minutes.
The agency’s contractors have already dug two new subway stations along Wilshire Boulevard, at La Brea and Fairfax avenues (unearthing Ice-Age fossils in the process). The Wilshire/La Cienega station is now also nearly complete.
Meanwhile, a pair of tunnel boring machines are drilling eastward beneath the Wilshire corridor, and are expected to finish carving out twin tunnels between La Brea and Western later this month.
Metro broke ground on the Purple Line extension in 2014, though excavation work didn’t start until 2016. The entire subway extension is part of the list of 28 projects which the agency aims to open in time for the 2028 Olympics.
Eventually, the line is expected to connect with a planned rail route between the Westside and the San Fernando Valley, as well as a proposed northern extension of the under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line.