Construction resumes on $2.4B Los Angeles Metro Purple Line

Dive Brief:

  • All construction work has restarted on a 2.6-mile stretch of the $2.4 billion Los Angeles Metro Purple Line Extension project after it was shut down last month due to safety issues.
  • L.A. Metro allowed the contractors on the job, Los Angeles-based Tutor Perini and Torrington, Connecticut-based O&G Industries, back on the site on Nov. 1 following additional safety training, according to Rick Jager, a spokesperson for the transit agency. On Nov. 4, Metro cleared work to resume at the Century City Constellation and Wilshire/Rodeo stations. 
  • On Nov. 18, construction work was also cleared to resume in the project’s tunnels. Dave Sotero, a Metro spokesperson, told Construction Dive that the tunnels “experienced a lack of general housekeeping, including constant standing water and muck.”

Dive Insight:

Transit officials halted work on the line on Oct. 21 following a history of injuries and issues dating to July 2021, according to a letter sent to the contractors by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The letter alleges that the companies were warned multiple times about the safety issues prior to the shutdown.

The agency set an initial end date of Nov. 7 for the work stoppage, which Metro said could be shortened if contractors met additional safety requirements, including a revamped safety plan and a comprehensive evaluation of the site. 

Attorney Trent Cotney, a partner in the Tampa, Florida, office of law firm Adams and Reese, said that it was “fairly uncommon” for jobs to be halted on account of safety issues.

“It’s one thing to have an isolated road construction in a stand down for safety retraining, it’s another thing to have a suspension that lasts for weeks due to safety concerns,” Cotney said.

Tutor Perini and O&G Industries did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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