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Purple Line approved for tunneling under Beverly Hills High

May 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
L.A. County transportation officials voted Thursday to run the Purple Line subway extension underneath the property of Beverly Hills High School. It's a controversial route, and the city of Beverly Hills vows to keep fighting to stop it.

The plan will extend the Purple Line subway west, mostly along Wilshire Boulevard, and part of it would go under Beverly Hills High school and along Constellation Avenue with a stop at Avenue of the Stars.

The city Of Beverly Hills says there is methane gas under the school and tunneling will put students in danger. It wants the MTA to move the line north of the high school, possibly along Santa Monica Boulevard.

"Even the MTA study says there are dangers that they can mitigate, but what they have said is they cannot eliminate," said Brian Goldberg with Beverly Hills School Board.

Thursday's MTA hearing went on for several hours dozens of speakers who wanted to be heard about this subway.

At times it got a bit heated -- one person was escorted out by security.

The board voted to approve the subway line under the school. Engineers say any alternate routes would be dangerous because there are fault lines and pose an earthquake risk. The City of Beverly Hills says it now will sue the MTA.

"For me this process has been a kangaroo court, they really were not interested in hearing the science or data that went in the motions," said Goldberg.

"This is not the first high school or school that we've tunneled under in Los Angeles, and certainly not the first school that's been tunneled under in the United States, or in other parts of California," said Zev Yaroslavsky with the MTA. "If it's good enough in East Los Angeles, if it's good enough in Central Los Angeles, it's good enough in Beverly Hills and West Lost Angeles."

The board today also voted to move ahead with phases two and three of the Purple line to expend it all the way to Westwood. The entire line won't be completed until the year 2036.

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