Nice milestone for the Crenshaw/LAX Line on Thursday morning: Harriet the tunnel boring machine arrived at the Leimert Park Station, thereby completing the second of the project’s twin rail tunnels on the underground section of the line.
The tunneling machine began its work on April 27 of last year and completed the first tunnel in the fall. Excavation of the second tunnel began on Nov. 29. Each tunnel is about one mile long — from the future Expo/Crenshaw Station at Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards to the Leimert Park Station at Crenshaw and 43rd. There is also a station in between at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
Harriet excavated about 60 feet per day and removed 144,250 cubic yards of soil for the second tunnel. A crew of 75 workers manned the tunnel boring machine over three shifts, five days per week. The machine is named after Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist who freed slaves from the south via the Underground Railroad.
The Crenshaw/LAX Line will run for 8.5 miles between the Green Line and the Expo Line and includes eight new stations serving the communities of Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX. The project is projected to open in the fall of 2019. There is much more info on the project homepage on metro.net.
A ninth station — separate from this project — will be added at Aviation Boulevard and 96th Streets. Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line riders will use that station to transfer to a people mover being built by LAX that will serve the airport terminals. The airport is aiming to have the people mover completed by 2023.