Purple Line project

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF. (AP) — Los Angeles County transportation officials are taking advantage of light traffic during the coronavirus pandemic to expedite subway construction by shutting down a section of a major thoroughfare. The closure of a couple of blocks of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills will allow contractors to advance work on the Wilshire/Rodeo station for an extension of the Purple Line subway, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said.

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and concessionaire Purple Line Transit Partners celebrated the completion of the framework of the 170,000-sq.-ft. operations and maintenance facility (OMF). "This is a key milestone for the Purple Line," said Charles Lattuca, MDOT MTA executive director of transit development and delivery.

U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) have announced $120 million in federal funding through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the construction of the Purple Line. This grant is part of the $900 million federal grant agreement for the Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project, $568 million of which has been appropriated through FY 2019.

For crews like those working on the Purple Line project, one presence deep within the tunnel provides a little extra protection. The statue of Saint Barbara that looks upon the workers as they go about their jobs is part of a long-standing tradition. A likeness of the patron saint of miners, tunnelers, artillerymen and others who handle explosives, is often found deep underground on these types of jobs to workers who believe her presence will help protect them from the dangers that come with the territory, The Washington Post reported.

In Maryland, crews are constructing a 16-mi. east-west light rail line that operates mostly on the surface with 21 stations, connecting New Carrollton in Prince George's County and Bethesda in Montgomery County. The Purple Line project also provides a direct connection to four Washington Metrorail lines, three MARC commuter rail lines, Amtrak Northeast Corridor and regional and local bus services.