The Regional Connector Transit Project comprises the design-build of a 1.9-mile underground light rail system with 3 new stations. The contract includes traffic control, permits, support of excavation, tunnelling, concrete works, mechanical, electrical, fire protection, rail, and systems.
In order to construct the twin tunnels, a single tunnel boring machine (TBM) was rebuilt from Traylor’s University Link Light Rail project in Seattle. It was a Herrenknecht TBM modified to navigate the extremely tight radius curves along the alignment.
The project will extend from the Los Angeles Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station through downtown Los Angeles. 3 new metro stations will be constructed: Central, Broadway and Hope. Hope is estimated to be the deepest station in Los Angeles, 120 ft below ground. The project includes a connection to the existing 7th St. and Flower Station. This project will allow people to ride from Santa Monica to East Los Angeles and Azusa to Long Beach without having to change trains, but also connecting the Exposition and Blue lines directly to Union Station. LA Metro estimates that the Regional Connector will increase ridership across the entire transportation system by 17,000 people per day and save commuters an average of 20 to 30 minutes by reducing the need to transfer to different lines.
Major challenges were encountered during the works and consequently, a few innovations were implemented. Unforeseen obstructions during the TBM drive and SEM construction were unique and extremely challenging. Armed by the support of all teams, the project overcame those difficult
challenges by turning a one-month delay into a two-month schedule acceleration. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $1.2 billion.
Client: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro)
Contractors: Regional Connector Constructors (J.V. Skanska-Traylor)
Stakeholders: City of LA Bureau of Engineering and Bureau of Street Lighting; ConAd; LADWP; AT&T; LADOT; Caltrans; LA County; LADBS
Engineering firm(s): WSP: Owner’s designer, Hatch Mott McDonald: Design-builder's designer, Arcadis and PCC consultants: Owner’s PM assistance