Expanding the Rail Network
Currently, the LA Metro Red and Purple Lines serve more than 140,000 passengers per day, and with increased commuter ridership and anticipated increased transit demand for the 2028 Olympics, LA Metro needed to increase passenger capacity. The Division 20 Portal Widening Turnback Facility project shortens the time required for trains to enter and exit Union Station, reducing delays at the station and allowing for a faster turnaround between trains. The project makes the rail service faster, safer, and more reliable by allowing Metro to operate more trains on the expanding rail network.
The project widened the heavy rail tunnel portal south of the US-101 freeway, added a new turnback facility, expanded and reconfigured rail storage tracks, and retrofitted the 1st Street Viaduct Bridge to accommodate the proposed track configuration. In addition, the project installed new tracks and switches to improve service times at Union Station and increase efficiency throughout the Metro Red/Purple Line system.
A major project challenge encountered was that some of the track additions conflicted with the 1st Street bridge concrete substructure bents. To accommodate the new track, portions of the substructure needed to be removed, requiring new micropile foundations, new substructure (bent removals), and new precast/prestressed concrete girders on the bridge superstructure.
Safety Oversight and Project Management
Ghirardelli provided construction management and safety oversight throughout the life of the project. Our team played a critical role in delivering the project on time and within budget while meeting all OSHA requirements and managing project documents. To keep the team and the public safe during the project, our assigned Field Safety Manager successfully performed process safety reviews, job site safety analysis and review, conducted safety meetings and briefings and maintained safety communications between the client and contractor while enforcing client expectations and rules.
Safety was always the primary concern given the size and the magnitude of the project. Due to the aggressive schedule, nighttime work, and crowded work conditions, safety compliance requirements included active management and consistent monitoring.
Increased Safety, Reduced Wait Times
Once completed, the project enabled LA Metro to expand ridership on the Red and Purple lines while also reducing the time between trains, and eliminating the need to switch tracks, improving safety for riders.