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Rail News: Passenger Rail

L.A. authority collects soil samples for proposed subway extension


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) recently completed exploratory drilling in West L.A. as part of the planning and environmental process for the Westside subway extension.

LACMTA collected soil samples at 70 Westside locations over the past two-and-one-half months. The samples will be tested in labs to assess underground soil conditions and help determine an optimal subway route based on drilling and construction techniques. LACMTA needs to complete testing before it can prepare the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report.

After the agency completes the environmental review process next year, LACMTA officials will recommend a route, or the locally preferred alternative, that will include the mode, alignment and station locations. The board will need to approve the route before any final environmental analysis, design/engineering or construction can begin.

The agency currently is considering two options: a Wilshire subway that would extend the Metro Purple Line via Wilshire Boulevard and a Wilshire/West Hollywood subway that would incorporate all of the Wilshire subway as well as a spur from the Metro Red Line in Hollywood via Santa Monica Boulevard.

LACMTA estimates project costs at $4.1 billion for a partial Wilshire subway to Westwood/405, $6.1 billion for the full Wilshire subway alternative to Santa Monica and $9 billion for the Wilshire/West Hollywood subway combination. The Measure R county sales tax would partially fund the project.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/21/2009