Shortly after 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 20, the TBM mining twin tunnels for Crenshaw/LAX project for LA Metro broke through into Leimert Park Station.
The TBM will now be taken apart, trucked back to Expo and Crenshaw and then put back in the ground and reassembled. At that point the TBM will dig the other of the twin rail tunnels.
The underground section will include three of the eight new stations being built as part of this project: Crenshaw/Expo, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Leimert Park.
The TBM was lowered into the Crenshaw/Expo Station in February and then began digging its way south in April and reached the MLK Station in August and then resumed digging in September. The tunnel just completed is about 1 mile long.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line is expected to open in fall 2019. As part of the breakthrough ceremony, Metro CEO Phil Washington also announced that the firm building the project for Metro — Walsh Shea Corridor Constructors — has agreed to do the civil work, grading and other prep work for a ninth station along the alignment at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Street. The environmental studies for that project are ongoing.
That station will be used by the Crenshaw/LAX Line, the Green Line and numerous bus lines by Metro and other agencies. The station — also known as the Airport Metro Connector — will be the transfer point to the LAX automated people mover that will take riders to three stations at the airport terminals.