Tunneling is finished on LA Metro D Line extension, a milestone for $9.5B project

Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath, left, joins a Metro tour of the not yet completed Metro D (Purple) Line’s Wilshire/Fairfax station on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Los Angeles. Metro has completed the tunneling of the D (Purple) Line Subway Extension Project connecting downtown and West L.A. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

With Metro construction workers behind her and on what will eventually be the Metro D (Purple) Line’s Wilshire/Fairfax station entrance adjacent to the Peterson Automotive Museum, Mayor Karen Bass celebrates the completion of the tunneling for the D (Purple) Line Subway Extension Project connecting downtown and West L.A. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Metro gives a tour of the not yet completed Metro D (Purple) Line’s Wilshire/Fairfax station on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Los Angeles. Metro has completed the tunneling of the D Line Subway Extension Project connecting downtown and West L.A. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

A construction car is moved along the tracks of the Metro D (Purple) Line beneath Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Metro has completed the tunneling of the D (Purple) Line Subway Extension Project connecting downtown and West L.A. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Crane operator Chris Melendez sits in a crane on what will eventually be the Metro D (Purple) Line’s Wilshire/Fairfax station entrance adjacent to the Peterson Automotive Museum on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Los Angeles. Metro has completed the tunneling of the D (Purple) Line Subway Extension Project connecting downtown and West L.A. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Tunneling for a new subway — the extension of the D (Purple) Line — is complete. LA Metro celebrated the milestone on Tuesday, April 2 at the future Wilshire/Fairfax subway station near the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles. Under construction since 2014, the 9-mile, $9.5 billion extension is being built in three sections extending the subway from Koreatown to the Westwood/VA station, the western terminus.

Metro contractors used huge tunnel boring machines that excavated 40 to 60 feet per day, making it through tar sands and around abandoned oil wells under Beverly Hills High School.

“The D Line Subway Extension is one of the most complex engineering feats that Metro has undertaken,” said Lindsey Horvath, chair of the LA County Board of Supervisors and Metro board member. The machines also line the tunnel with precast concrete segments bolted together to form secure rings that are water-tight and gas-tight, Metro reports. Work will focus on completing seven new underground stations.

“When completed, the extension will make Metro transit available to 53,300 more weekday riders traveling between Downtown Los Angeles and the Westside,” said Karen Bass, L.A. mayor and Metro board chair. Phase one, from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire and La Cienega, is expected to open in 2025; phase two, which extends to Century City is slated to open in 2026, and the third phase extending to Westwood is expected to open in 2027.

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