Los Angeles Metro halts construction of Purple Subway Line under Wilshire Blvd due to safety concerns – Press Telegram

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The Los Angeles Metro halted construction for two weeks on the second phase of the Purple Line subway extension under Wilshire Boulevard, citing multiple injuries and “ongoing safety concerns,” documents show.

In a letter to contractor Tutor Perini O&G (TPOG), which is part of a staff report sent to the Board of Directors on October 21, Metro officials cited dozens of injuries since July 2021, including several workers falling down stairs, one slipping and breaking his leg , others with torn and crushed fingers, one with lightning burns, and several injured by improperly secured pipes and hoses.

LA Metro, the county transit agency that serves buses, trains and bikes, is at the center of an ambitious plan to expand subway and light rail lines and add new lines in a race to complete before the Olympics. Games in the summer of 2028.

The 9-mile, $9.5 billion D Line extension project, under construction since 2014, is being built in three sections that stretch from Koreatown at Wilshire County and Western to Westwood/VA Station, the western terminus. The first phase, from Wilshire and Western to Wilshire and La Cienega, is expected to be completed in 2024. The second phase extends approximately 2.6 miles to Century City/Constellation, expected to be completed in 2025, and the third phase extends to the West Los Angeles VA campuswith expected completion in 2027.

“It is too early to say whether this will affect the final delivery of the project, as Section 2 is scheduled to be completed in 2025 – two years before the third segment of the project opens in Westwood/Virginia in 2027,” said Dave Sotero, Spokesman metro in an email response.

Stopping work on the second site until Nov. 7 is a “short period of suspension,” Sotero said.

The map shows three sections of the purple line (line D) under construction. (Courtesy of LA Metro)

In a board report, Metro said it has sent 10 letters to the contractor outlining safety concerns since October 2020. But, according to the report, the situation has worsened. The letter to TPOG cites nine injuries and other incidents in the past year, including five in the past three months and two in the past 10 days.

“There is an ongoing pattern of safety issues that have not been properly addressed by TPOG and continue to persist unchecked. The project needs a fundamental change in safety culture,” the letter concluded.

When asked for comment on the letter and the Metro report, Jorge Casado, a spokesman for Sylmar-headquartered Tutor Perini Corp., emailed a statement:

“We are strongly committed to providing safe and healthy working conditions for our employees and to work in a manner that ensures the safety of our subcontractors, customers and the general public, as well as the protection of facilities, equipment and the environment. We are investigating and working with Metro to resolve the issues they have identified, determine their cause and ensure we meet the high safety standards we have set for ourselves, which we strive to achieve every day.”

In addition to the worker injuries, Metro’s letter cites the safety issues the transit agency says caused that section of the project, and notes that the company failed to follow basic safety protocols.

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