Editor’s Note: Originally this post referenced the lot on the SE corner of Wilshire and Crenshaw. As it turns out, there is activity on both sides of Wilshire-Crenshaw! The Metro staging lot is on the SW corner. We are continuing to investigate what’s up on the SE corner. To be continued…
The lot on the south west corner of Wilshire and Crenshaw – property of LA Metro – is a staging area for the LA Metro construction of the Purple Line Extension.
While construction of the first section of the Purple Line Extension will begin in 2014, one of the activities they are engaged in now is called “Advanced Utility Relocation.” In short, there are numerous utilities that run under the street — water, power, communications, etc. While the tunnels between the stations are built completely below ground below the level of the utilities, the stations are excavated from the ground down. Before that begins, Metro will either be relocating or securing the utility lines to ensure that service continues during construction. The contractor who is doing this work for the La Brea station is using the Wilshire/Crenshaw lot for staging of this activity.
We asked Metro if this lot will have a bigger role – perhaps as a staging area for the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM)? Judy Litvak, head of Regional Communications for Metro responded that while the use of the site may evolve somewhat over time, and once they get a contractor on board for utility relocation at the Fairfax and La Cienega stations, and the design-builder for the project, it is not envisioned as a TBM launch site. Actual tunneling for the first section (Western to La Cienega) is, at this point, expected to occur between mid 2016 & 2018. Again, that activity is below ground and should have little if any impact on the surface between the station areas.
As for the lot at Crenshaw and Wilshire, the contractor has access to the site at all times but, most likely, people in the vicinity may observe materials being delivered during the day. The actual street work for the utility relocation is being done in the evening to be less impactful to traffic. So, in addition to daytime activity, neighbors may witness work vehicles leaving the lot in early evening to go to the work location and then returning in the early morning before rush hour. This staging area may also include construction trailers for offices, workshops and some employee parking. The contractor cleaned up the foliage around the perimeter of the lot and will be maintaining it from here on out.
Litvak encourages locals to spend some time on the Metro website particularly with the Frequently Asked Questions and the fact sheets. Also, interested parties will find a recently released Utility Work Notice available to read/print below.
Website – Metro Purple Line Extension
Facebook – Facebook.com/purplelineext
Twitter – Twitter.com/purplelineext