Work underway on Los Angeles Purple Line's $2.5B second phase
- The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that preliminary work had begun on the 2.5-mile, $2.53 billion second phase of the Purple Line subway extension, according to Curbed Los Angeles.
- Crews are performing preliminary work, including moving power lines, with major construction set to begin this spring on the line that will run under the city of Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Century City. The tunneling work will begin in Century City.
- The second phase is scheduled for completion in 2025, but the Beverly Hills Unified School District is suing the Metro in the hopes of forcing the authority to pick a tunneling route that does not take the line under Beverly Hills High School.
In January 2017, Metro officials announced that the second phase of the Purple Line had won $1.58 billion in Federal Transit Administration funding, a combination of a grant from the federal New Starts program and a loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This commitment came before President Donald Trump was inaugurated and before the White House introduced its $1.5 trillion infrastructure program, which proposes that local and state governments finance the lion's share of projects like the Purple Line.
According to the proposed financial plan for the third phase, the Metro will be looking to the transit administration once again for a New Starts grant — but it could meet federal resistance, similar to the $13 billion New York-New Jersey Hudson River tunnel project.
The Hudson River tunnel is a critical rail line that carries Amtrak and New Jersey Transit commuters between New Jersey and New York City. During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the tunnel was flooded with seawater, which caused extensive damage to equipment. A replacement is part of Amtrak's $24 billion Gateway initiative to beef up rail infrastructure along the Northeast corridor.
Gateway Program Development Corporation officials maintain that the Obama administration committed to funding half of the project, but the Trump administration has denied that there is any such agreement. When New York and New Jersey officials submitted a proposal to the FTA that suggested the administration finance its share via loans, the FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams responded that it was "unhelpful to reference a nonexistent agreement." She went on to say that because nine out of 10 tunnel passengers are local, that made the project a local concern.
- Curbed Los Angeles Construction will start this spring to bring subway service to Century City
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