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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) awarded a $1.6 billion design-build contract to a Skanska joint venture with Traylor Brothers Inc. and J.F. Shea Construction to extend the Purple Line.The project includes a four-mile extension of the Purple Line, as well as train control and signals, communications, traction power supply and distribution, and fare collection systems that will connect and operate with the existing system. The project schedule requires substantial completion by June 2023, Skanska officials said in a press release.Meanwhile, LACMTA — joined by local, state and federal officials — broke ground on the project on Friday."The Purple Line extension will help the people of Los Angeles reach jobs and housing along Wilshire Boulevard and beyond, improving access to one of the most congested areas in the region," said Acting Federal Transit Administration Administrator Therese McMillan in a press release. "Expanding the capacity of L.A. County’s transit system is critical for supporting population growth and economic development for decades to come."The Westside Purple Line extension — the first of three planned extensions of the Purple Line subway — is expected to improve travel times and expand capacity from Beverly Hills to downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Union Station, and other Los Angeles County communities. The project includes three new underground stations and the purchase of 34 new heavy rail vehicles to augment the existing fleet. The extension is expected to open in 2024 and provide more than 20,000 trips daily.LACMTA will receive $2.1 billion in federal grants and loan agreements toward the project's $2.8 billion cost.