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Miracle On Miracle Mile: No More Closures As Construction Ends Early

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Orange—is there a more despairing color for L.A.'s millions of drivers? It's the color of cones and detour signs, and it evokes in us a feeling of frustration and futility. And with development projects happening everywhere across the county, we've been seeing the color a lot on the road.

Well, here's some good news that goes against the grain. Metro has announced that they have lifted the weekend closures along Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. As we'd noted before, Metro is working to build a subway station there, which will help extend the Purple Line westward. Since June, Metro has implemented weekend closures in the Miracle Mile so that workers could construct a "concrete deck," which will let commuters drive over that stretch as workers build out the Wilshire/La Brea subway station.

Initial word was that the project would take 22 weeks. But workers were able to finish the job six weeks ahead of time. As mentioned in a statement, "Metro and STS were able to expedite work through a combination of strategies, including early lane reductions on Fridays and close coordination with elected officials, community stakeholders and city departments." The achievement was hailed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who said in a release that the example boosts the city's record of "finishing projects on time and on budget." It should also be noted that, at one point, planners were considering closing down that stretch of Wilshire for seven straight weeks. So, all in all, the outcome has been much more agreeable than what was initially projected.

Of course, we're far from being out of the woodwork. Metro says there may be short-term closures in the Wilshire and La Brea area when construction on the actual station begins. Also, Metro will repeat in January the same concrete deck process at the intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax, where another Purple Line station will be built. Altogether, seven new stops will be added to the Purple Line as it gets a nine-mile extension westward. The line is expected to reach Westwood, its final stop, in 2035.