Westside Purple Line Extension Section 2 Project – CM Teamwork Underground

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Project Update by Gregg Davidson, PE, CEng

Work on the Westside Purple Line Extension (WPLE) Project now being built by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has been proceeding well through the first half of 2022. The extension is being constructed in three sections and continues from the existing Metro Purple Line terminus at Wilshire/Western, going westward for about 9 miles (14.5 km). The extension includes seven new stations: Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax, Wilshire/La Cienega, Wilshire/Rodeo, Century City Constellation, Westwood/UCLA, and Westwood/VA Hospital.

McMillen Jacobs Associates is the lead tunneling and geotechnical consultant on the Purple Line 2 CM Partners Joint Venture, which is providing construction management support services to Metro on WPLE Section 2 of the project. This section is located entirely underground, primarily following Wilshire Boulevard, and includes design and construction of 2.59 miles (4.17 km) of twin-bore tunnels and two new stations.

The tunnel team has done a remarkable job over the last 3 years, working uninterrupted through the COVID-19 pandemic, and now has the end in sight with tunnel excavation expected to be completed this year, and cross-passage work continuing into the first half of 2023. The project is expected to be complete in late 2025.

Purple Line Extension

Peter Raleigh, Patrick Raleigh (intern), and Joe Toal (inspector) in front of the BR TBM in Wilshire Rodeo Station.


Staffing a Large CM Project
Staffing a large CM project involves an incredible amount of coordination and teamwork between multiple stakeholders. For WPLE Section 2, McMillen Jacobs provided 10 full-time field staff, ranging from the design build construction manager, assistant construction managers for tunnels, the office engineer, and the geotechnical instrumentation engineer to a full team of underground inspectors. In addition to the field staff, several of our highly experienced technical specialists have provided input and advice to the team as and when required.

Read more about the project in a previous Segments article.