The U.S. Department of Transportation and LA Metro announced that federal grants and loans totaling more than $1.6 billion have been secured to help build the second phase of the Purple Line Extension to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City.
The money is for the 2.6-mile second phase of the Purple Line Extension that will run between Wilshire/La Cienega Station and Century City. Two stations are included in the second section: Wilshire/Rodeo in downtown Beverly Hills and Century City at the corner of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard.
The first section of the Purple Line Extension is under construction and will run for 3.9 miles between Wilshire/Western Station and Wilshire/La Cienga with stations at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega.
The $1.187-billion federal grant for section two is from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program, which helps local transit agencies build big capital projects. The $307-million loan is from the U.S. DOT’s TIFIA program that provides low-interest loans to help build infrastructure projects. The subway project is also receiving $169 million through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. Funding for the second phase includes $747 million from the Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. Section two is expected to cost about $2.4 billion to build.
Metro is now in the process of selecting a contractor to build the subway extension’s second phase. The agency plans to recommend a contractor to the Metro Board in January. Pre-construction activities — including utility work relocation — for the second phase are already underway. Major construction is planned to begin in 2018.
Completion of the second subway section is anticipated no later than 2026 per the agreement Metro has in place with the FTA. But Metro is aiming to finish the project at an earlier date.
A third and final section will extend the subway to the Westwood/VA Hospital. Construction on this section — with funding from the recently approved Measure M sales tax — is planned to begin as early as 2019.
A total of $3.1 billion in federal New Starts funding has now been secured for recent Metro transportation projects, including $1.25 billion for the first section of the subway and $670 million for the Regional Connector. These grants would not have been possible without Metro also having local funding from the Measure R sales tax.