It’s just the beginning of a ten year long haul for Wilshire area residents as Metro begins construction of the Purple Line Extension, or “Subway to the Sea” down Wilshire Blvd.
In the current preliminary, pre-digging phase, utility relocation is underway at Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Brea where two new stations will be built underground, and at Wilshire/Crenshaw where a staging area for heavy equipment, materials storage and crew parking for the two different contractors doing the work at the Fairfax and La Brea.
Tuesday evening, June 17th, Metro held two public meetings to discuss noise mitigation efforts at all three locations.
About a dozen mostly Windsor Village residents showed up at the Wilshire/Crenshaw lot to hear Metro’s plans for building a 20 foot high solid wooden wall, draped with sound blankets on the interior, meant to deaden the noise of trucks, equipment and materials being loaded and moved around day and night. Metro said they were moving ahead earlier than the originally scheduled 2017 date for construction of the wall, to accommodate residents’ concerns sooner rather than later in the construction process. People complained they could currently hear the dropping of steel plates, back-up beeping of trucks and equipment loading even though Metro was specific in defining the area as a “Quiet Zone” with the contractors using the lot.
Also discussed, cleaning and maintenance of the area, signage, and limiting the use of the Lorraine Blvd gate to the lot given the street is extremely narrow and completely residential. Any complaints and concerns can be directed to Michael Cortez at 310-562-4207 who is the Construction Relations Officer for Metro’s Crenshaw staging lot.
Meanwhile, just down the boulevard, another group of Wilshire residents were vociferous in their complaints to Metro that nighttime work on the utility relocation at Wilshire/LaBrea and Wilshire/Fairfax was exceeding the noise decibel levels allowed. Complaints included grinding welds heard in the middle of the night, not every truck having the low-volume backup indicators, radios blaring and the like. According to a report by the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA), Metro admitted they have difficulty monitoring all the sub-contractors working on the utility relocation.
In its Powerpoint presentation to the public on Tuesday, Metro noted that as a contractor is defined for the actual digging and construction phase, most of the noise will be happening around the clock at the Wilshire/LaBrea site where a slurry recovery facility, grout manufacturing plant will be located, and most of the dirt will be extracted from all of the tunneling from Western to LaCienega.
Given their experience thus far with the noise of just the utility relocation, the MMRA opposes giving Metro a permit for unlimited 24/7 construction at the four Wilshire Bl. sites at the two future Metro stations. In February of this year the MMNA began an online petition opposing 24/7 construction, and has since received support from the Police Commission in their campaign. Read more detail about the “Sleepless in the Miracle Mile” petition in the link below.
Miracle Mile Neighborhood Assn: Stop Nighttime and Sunday Subway Construction