Purple line subway extension to Westwood beats another lawsuit

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The city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District have tried multiple times to block construction of a subway underneath their high school. Their latest attempt, a federal lawsuit against the Federal Transit Administration, which had approved the project, has failed.

A federal judge upheld the FTA’s approval in a ruling on Friday. Los Angeles’ transit agency, Metro, says via its news blog, The Source, that the ruling means it will, “move forward with finalizing a $1.2-billion federal grant and $307-million federally-backed loan” to help pay for the second phase of the Purple line extension, which will add a station at Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive and another on Constellation Avenue in Century City.

The first phase will extend the line from its current terminus at Wilshire and Western to Wilshire and La Cienega and is already under construction. A third phase would add two more stations along Westwood Boulevard at UCLA and the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.

The ruling also means that Metro has to “redo” parts of the future subway extension’s environmental studies (“mostly having to do with seismic studies and methane near the Beverly Hills High School and Century City”). The Source reports that the agency’s already started working to comply with that.

Beverly Hills city and school officials have fought for the extension to run underneath Santa Monica Boulevard, rather than under the high school, but Metro has said that’s not possible because it would run too close to an earthquake fault. They filed a similar lawsuit at the state level and lost in 2014.

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