The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and community members in Century City have named and unveiled the second set of TBMs that will bore the twin subway tunnels between Beverly Hills and Century City. Tunnelling is expected to begin in early 2020.
Metro Board Director and City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointee Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker awarded TAP Cards and other prizes to students who won contests to name the TBMs and create illustrations for the TBM tail shields. More than 2,500 votes were cast for the contests. The names “Harriet” and “Ruth” were selected from a winning entry submitted by 6th grade Turning Point School student Ruby Santamaria. Harriet and Ruth were named after Harriet Tubman, known for her role in the Underground Railroad, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who fights for gender equality and social justice.
Hans Smallwood, a 3rd grade student from Good Shepherd Catholic School in Beverly Hills won the art contest. His winning illustration showed the Purple Line Extension subway running under Rodeo Drive.
“It is so fitting to have Harriet and Ruth, named after two of history’s greatest sheroes, blazing the path for this critically important transit project,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “We are glad to see such enthusiastic community involvement in naming these new TBMs.”
Metro has received the cutterhead and shield for its TBMs, which are now staged at Metro’s Century City Station construction yard. The TBMs will be assembled at the station site and will dig eastward to Wilshire/La Cienega in Beverly Hills. Metro’s Section Two contractor, Tutor Perini O&G, is building this portion of the project.
“I’m proud to welcome our two newest Angelenos — Harriet and Ruth — who embody the best of the Angeleno spirit,” said Metro Board Second Vice Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Their work will continue our great progress toward realizing an integral part of our transportation future — a reliable, sustainable connection between Downtown and the Westside.”
The TBMs are manufactured in Germany by Herrenknecht AG, and weigh approximately 1,000 tons, are 122m long and are 6.6m in diameter. They will advance about 18m per day once boring begins. The depths of tunnels will vary throughout the underground alignment, ranging from 15m to 36m. The TBMs will tunnel five days per week, 20 hours per day and take approximately two years to complete their work.
“With the arrival of these two new TBMs, we are another step closer to bringing the Purple Line Extension to reality,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “When it’s completed, the subway will reduce travel times between the Westside and Downtown L.A. to just 25 minutes and give Angelenos a new high-speed, high-capacity transit alternative they’ve been waiting many decades to ride.”
The second section of the Purple Line Extension Project spans 4.2km and includes two new stations at Wilshire/Rodeo in Beverly Hills and Century City/Constellation in Century City. The extension is expected to open in 2025.
Overall, the Purple Line Extension Project consists of three construction phases. When complete, the project will extend Purple Line service nine miles farther west and include seven new stations: Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City/Constellation, Westwood/UCLA and Westwood/VA Hospital. When the entire project is completed in 2027, the subway extension is expected to serve 59,000 riders daily – including 17,000 new riders. The project is funded by Measure R, federal grants and accelerated by Measure M, the two most recent sales tax measures approved by Los Angeles County voters for transportation improvements.