Eyes on the Street: Purple Line Construction on Wilshire in Koreatown

Westside subway construction currently has Wilshire Boulevard closed just west of Western Avenue. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
Westside subway construction currently has Wilshire Boulevard closed just west of Western Avenue. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

Streetsblog readers probably know that construction is already underway to extend the Metro Purple Line subway westward. Earlier this month, Metro staff reported that construction is 27 percent complete for phase 1 – which will run 3.9 miles under Wilshire Boulevard from Western Avenue to La Cienega Boulevard. Tunneling for this phase is anticipated to begin in August. The $2.8 billion construction project is forecast to be complete in 2023.

People who bus, bike, or walk along Wilshire in mid-city probably know that this subway construction has made for some closures and detours. Metro is nearing the end of a ten-day full closure of Wilshire Boulevard immediately west of Western Avenue. That stretch closed on Friday February 16 and is expected to re-open early morning next Monday – February 26. Construction crews are digging the pit where the project’s tunnel-boring machine will be extracted after it digs eastward.

Wilshire buses will continue to detour south on to Olympic Boulevard until Monday morning. Map via Metro's The Source
Wilshire buses will continue to detour south on to Olympic Boulevard until Monday morning. Map via Metro’s The Source

Streetsblog made our way around the site earlier today and got some photos of the construction activity.

WilshireWestern518Feb22
Wilshire is currently closed at Western for Purple Line subway construction
Construction underway below the surface of Wilshire just west of Western
Construction underway below the surface of Wilshire just west of Western
Subway construction on Wilshire west of Western
Subway construction on Wilshire west of Western
Purple Line construction site at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Manhattan Place - viewed from an adjacent parking structure
Purple Line construction site at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Manhattan Place – viewed from an adjacent parking structure

Work is also getting fully underway on the 2.6-mile $2.53 billion Purple Line Phase 2 which will extend from La Cienega through Beverly Hills to Century City.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and other dignitaries will be breaking ground on Phase 2 at a ceremony tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. in Century City. That phase is forecast to be complete in 2025.

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