Metro presented its latest wrap-up of progress on the Purple Line subway extension at a community meeting last Thursday, September 17. The presentation included details of current and planned construction work, including site preparation, pile drilling at Wilshire and La Brea, and the subsequent decking that will cover the street during construction of the underground station box. Once the street decking is in place, according to Metro, construction of the subway station will continue underneath. For those who missed the meeting, the presentation is available to view and/or download at http://thesource.metro.net/2015/09/18/september-17-purple-line-extension-community-meeting-presentation-now-online/
Much of the presentation focused on the current wave of construction preparation activities. First of all, several mitigation measures have been instituted at the project staging yard at Wilshire and Crenshaw. These include “Right Turn Only” signs at the Lorraine Blvd. gate (directing all traffic toward Wilshire Blvd. instead of south along Lorraine), “No Metro Contractor Parking on City Street” signs, noise awareness training for those who use the site, nightly noise readings, and regular maintenance inside and outside the yard.
Moving west to Wilshire and La Brea, Metro says electrical duct bank work currently underway at the NE corner of the intersection will be completed by September 30, while “pothole work” (underground utility investigation) will continue through October 23, during both daytime and nighttime hours. Sewer and storm drain work will be conducted during the night (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from October 4-25.
Also at Wilshire and La Brea, the demolition of the former Bank of America has been completed at the southwest corner of the intersection, and Metro has acquired the property at the western end of that Wilshire-fronting block, at Wilshire and Detroit. Sound wall construction will begin around both of these properties in October, preparing them for use as an additional staging yard during the subway construction. At the northwest corner of Wilshire and La Brea, where the new subway station entrance will be located, the old Metro Service Center, Blockbuster and Lawrence of La Brea stores have been demolished, and sound wall construction is underway.
Tree removal near Wilshire and La Brea will also begin at the end of September. 16 trees will be removed from the Wilshire Blvd. medians, which will be replaced and re-planted (in a 2:1 ratio) at the end of construction. Six sidewalk trees have already been removed and relocated (four of them to the Crenshaw staging yard, and two to LAPD’s Wilshire Division station).
After the medians are removed, Wilshire Blvd. will be re-configured to two lanes in each direction to allow for pile drilling operations, which will take place from November 2015 through the summer of 2016. Pile drilling and the project’s next phase, construction of street decking over the underground station box site (Wilshire Blvd., from Orange Dr. to Detroit St.), will mark the beginning of heavy construction in the area. Construction of the decking will be particularly disruptive, with total closures of Wilshire Blvd. for either seven full weeks, or 22 weekends. (That schedule is still being determined. If you have a preferred option, you can send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Decking Options.”)
Along with construction details, Metro also provided information on community outreach for the next few months. Activities will include a marketing campaign, advertising and social media updates, meetings with community leaders and elected officials, continuation of the “Eat, Shop, Play” program that promotes local businesses during construction, and the Metro Business Interruption Fund, which can provide assistance to “mom and pop” businesses that may be struggling during construction. The first of several workshops on the BIF will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 11:30 a.m. at the 5200 Wilshire apartment complex.
Metro’s next bi-monthly community meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12, at the John Burroughs Middle School auditorium, 600 S. McCadden Pl. (Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Thursday of odd numbered months, but November’s meeting will be a week early, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.)
For more information or the full presentation from last week’s meeting, see http://www.metro.net/purplelineext