Metro officials clear up confusion regarding Purple Line funds

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Metro released on Wednesday an explanation of how the third and final leg of the Purple Line Extension Project underneath Century City and Westwood will be funded. The current budget for Purple Line Section 3, the last 2.6-mile subway extension segment still to be built, is $3.2 billion.

“A number of local press understandably had a tough time grappling with the terminology and cost figures included in the Board action, which isn’t surprising given the complexity of this mega project,” Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said, alluding to corrections and clarifications to previous coverage in outlets such as Curbed Los Angeles. “The first thing to understand is that this final segment of Purple Line is being built in separate construction phases.”

According to Sotero, funding for those separate phases can change as new issues and contracts arise. Metro established its Section 3 budget at $1.37 billion for the necessary tunnels in June 2018, which was amended to the full $3.2 billion amount last month. That amount will include stations, track work, systems and testing.

Sotero said Metro awarded Frontier-Kemper/Tutor Perini Joint Venture a $410 million contract for tunneling work, while Tutor Perini/O&G was given a $1.36 billion contract for stations and track work. However, the $1.36 billion amount is still pending the Federal Transit Administration’s approval of Metro’s Full Funding Grant Agreement.

The entire Purple Line Extension project is expected to include $5.2 billion in federal grants and loans. County sales tax proceeds from voter-approved Measure R and Measure M are providing local funds to match the federal contributions and accelerate construction work.

Purple Line Section 3 is expected to be operational in 2027.

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