MIRACLE MILE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Tunneling for the first phase of Metro's Purple Line Extension project will begin later this summer under the Miracle Mile.
Two boring machines will begin by digging parallel tunnels underneath Wilshire Boulevard between Koreatown and Beverly Hills to connect three new stations and 3.92 miles of new rail.
The project initially broke ground in November 2015.
The full extension, in three phases, will add about nine miles and seven new stations extending to the Westside, taking riders from downtown Los Angeles to Westwood in about 25 minutes.
The project, expected to cost $8.2 billion, is considered to be one of Metro's priority projects.
"The Wilshire corridor has the highest population and employment density of any transportation corridor in Los Angeles," said Mayor Eric Garcetti during a Wednesday morning news conference.
"For all the people who live and work here, the Purple Line Extension will create faster and more convenient ways to get to work and get back home to their loved ones," added Garcetti.
Boring each tunnel on the first phase will take about two years to complete.
It's scheduled to be finished and ready for riders in 2023.
Sections 1 and 2 are funded primarily by Measure R, the sales tax Los Angeles County voters approved in 2008.
Tunneling to begin on Purple Line extension under LA's Miracle Mile