Skanska joint venture wins controversial $1.6bn LA metro line

A joint venture between Skanska, Traylor Brothers and JF Shea Construction has been awarded a $1.6bn design-and-build contract by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to extend the Purple Line of the city’s metro. 

The extension has been the subject of legal disputes, but project proponents say it will lead to "meaningful, functional transit connections" that will change the city. 

The Westside Subway Phase 1 will continue the line 6.3km west from Wilshire Station within the existing Wilshire Boulevard right-of-way.  

Underground stops will be located where the boulevard intersects with La Brea, Fairfax and La Cienega. 

The consortium working on the scheme includes Parsons Transportation Group as lead designer and LK Comstock National Transit as the systems design and installation subcontractor. Design work on the project will begin immediately. 

Mike Aparicio, Skanska USA’s civil executive vice president, said: "Residents of Los Angeles are seeing the delivery of the meaningful, functional transit connections that will change our city. Our joint venture team intends to deliver a quality project on the schedule and budget residents expect." 

Two years ago the city of Beverly Hills fought and lost a court case against Los Angeles County to prevent the extension from passing beneath Beverly Hills High School. 

Plans to develop the line from Wilshire Boulevard have been the subject of referendums in 1969 and 1974. 

The New York Times commented: "The dispute has stirred tensions between Beverly Hills school officials and Los Angeles transit advocates, bringing to the surface old charges that the community, synonymous with wealth and privilege, does not want to open its borders to mass transit and the not-so-prosperous people who ride it." 

The project is due to be completed in June 2023. 

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  1. It’s about time, given the years of NIMBY-ist protests against the line’s extension by the billionaires of Beverly Hills.

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