Purple Line Extension Receives Key Federal Approval

The Purple Line Extension, which will connect the Westside to Hollywood and Beverly Hills, may be completed sooner than expected. Photo: Courtesy.

Century City to Westwood phase of line to be completed by 2026.

By Sam Catanzaro

The third phase of the Purple Line Extension, which will connect Century City and the West Los Angeles VA Hospital, will be completed quicker and for much less money than previously anticipated.

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On September 20 at a Metro Construction Committee meeting, Metro CEO Phil Washington announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approved Metro’s request to be reimbursed with federal funds for early work on the project.

“Working closely with the FTA, we can leverage our significant local investment with the precious resources of the federal government to deliver one of the most competitive and beneficial public transit projects in America today,” Washington said.

According to Metro, this decision will allow the agency to take advantage of competitive bids for boring the tunnel. These competitive bids will save Metro an estimated $130 million.

“Metro is now one step closer to extending the Purple Line subway all the way to West Los Angeles thanks to a positive working relationship with our federal funding partners,” Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl said.

These tunneling bids were set to expire on October 3. The FTA approval allows Metro to avoid having to re-bid the tunnel delay, which would have cost an additional $200 million and delayed the project by nearly two years.

Metro’s purple line Purple Line Extension, which will take the subway nine-miles further westward, is taking place in three phases. Construction of the second section between Beverly Hills and Century City started in 2017 and is expected to be complete in 2025. Phase three is estimated to cost $1.3 billion and will connect the subway from Century City to Westwood and the V.A. Hospital.

Metro says that the FTA funds will allow the entire line to open by 2026, in time for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles, news that was celebrated by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

“L.A. Metro is working hard to complete all three phases of the Purple Line Extension Project prior to the 2028 Olympics, seven years ahead of schedule,” Feinstein said. “I intend to make sure the federal government continues to be a good partner in this effort and helps keep the project moving forward as we prepare to welcome the world to Los Angeles.”

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