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Metro officials approve first 3.9 miles of Westside subway route

April 26, 2012 |  3:15 pm

Los Angeles County transportation officials on Thursday certified environmental documents for the $5.6-billion Westside Subway Extension, moving a step closer toward beginning construction of the proposed rail line underneath Wilshire Boulevard.

The planned route runs 9 miles from the existing Purple Line subway station at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital near Westwood. It promises a 25-minute one-way trip between downtown Los Angeles and Westwood.

But officials only formally approved the route of the first 3.9-miles of the project because of a request for a hearing from the city of Beverly Hills, where many officials hope to change a small part of the proposed route that includes tunneling underneath Beverly Hills High School.

“Today’s certification of the Westside Subway Extension final environmental impact report reflects the culmination of nearly five years of environmental analysis by Metro and unprecedented community engagement,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who also chairs Metro’s board.

“We are now closer than we’ve ever been to getting this project under construction,” he said.


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-- Ari Bloomekatz