While the COVID-19 pandemic is severely impacting health, the economy, and life in general, along with having killed nearly 500,000 people worldwide, with over 117,000 deaths in the U.S., it’s hard to talk about “bright spots” or “positives” as a result of this devastating virus.
It is true, though, that with many people staying home, along with those who must report to a job outside the home avoiding mass transit if they can, windows of opportunity for railroads and transit systems to work on their infrastructures have opened significantly.
For example, LA Metro finished a project associated with their future Purple Line Extension subway station in Beverly Hills seven months ahead of schedule. With light transit system use, the project was completed in about 75 days. The project required the closure of three-and-a-half blocks of Wilshire Boulevard between El Camino and Crescent Drives. On Sunday night, June 14, Wilshire was again open to traffic.
The project included the placement of several hundred steel beams underneath Wilshire to support later excavation for the station box. Decking came next, which is a process where the street is excavated and it’s replaced with a series of temporary concrete sections that are supported by steel beams. The concrete sections will serve as an interim road so traffic can flow normally above while work on the station progresses below.
“Wilshire Boulevard will probably never again see the light traffic conditions that resulted from our county’s recent safer-at-home order. Metro struck while the iron was hot and did our work quickly and efficiently,” said City of Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts. “We saved countless local businesses and residents from significant decking construction impacts that could have lasted until early 2021. It is a testament to how city and county governments can partner effectively even during a crisis. ”
For more information on the Metro Purple Line Extension Project, please visit https://www.metro.net/.
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