Construction of L.A. Metro’s Westside Purple Line halted over safety issues.
A Los Angeles Metro project to build a new Purple Line subway route on the Westside has been halted temporarily due to safety and engineering issues. The project was to have started service later this year.
Metro has said the issues include insufficient funding, construction conflicts and a lack of qualified staff. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has said the problems are related to the construction of grade-separated rail segments, which require a high level of expertise and a heavy build-out in order to build them without creating unacceptable safety risks.
However, Metro has said that it has completed the design phase of the project, and that it is now reviewing other issues related to the project, such as conflicts with private property owners who have expressed opposition to the Purple Line route and other landowner conflicts.
Metro added that, while the Purple Line was on track, construction started on the proposed $5.6 billion Purple Line Extension project in 2016 as well as the Blue Line, which was previously under construction.
The Blue Line, which opened in 2014, was originally supposed to open in 2018. But there was also a planned extension of the Red Line, which is an extension away from the L.A. Basin, to Pasadena. That project was set to be completed in 2029.
Last October, Metro said the Purple Line would open in 2022, and that it would not be delayed until 2026. The extension was projected to cost $2.7 billion with $600 million in funding from the state and $1 billion in funding from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency.
The Purple Line Extension, which would connect the stations at Exposition and Figueroa, would include a new station in Bellflower at the end of the line.
Before starting construction, Metro has said it would need approximately $5.5 billion in federal grants. The Federal Transit Administration had previously said funding for the project and federal approval would not be an issue, but that has been at odds with L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Meanwhile, Hahn and other critics have said the agency needs to start accepting community input on the project, such as landowner conflicts and potential environmental effects,