Gold Line heading east

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BOYLE HEIGHTS – Construction to extend the Metro Gold Line further east entered a new phase Thursday as a pair of 1,000-ton boring machines were lowered into the ground to begin tunneling. The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension will extend the light rail six miles east through Little Tokyo, the Arts District, Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. The $899 million project is scheduled for completion in late 2009. Beginning next month, the two machines, nicknamed Lola and Vicki, will dig two 1.7-mile tunnels at an average depth of 50 to 60 feet underground. The tunnels will extend between Mariachi Plaza and First and Lorena streets in Boyle Heights. Although it is a light rail line, the surface streets in Boyle Heights are too narrow to accommodate light rail trains. “The City of Los Angeles, especially the Eastside, is moving forward now as we enter this critical tunneling phase,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who chairs the MTA board. County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who represents the area, also attended the ceremony. “It’s a milestone that was achieved thanks to a united community, united local leaders and a united congressional delegation,” Molina said. “It won’t be long before we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel and that will be a welcome sight, indeed.” Acting on a motion from Molina, the MTA board Thursday voted to rename the project the Edward R. Roybal Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension after the former congressman who died in October. Roybal’s daughter, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, represents the Boyle Heights area. “For the families of the East Los Angeles community whose transportation needs have been ignored for far too long, this is truly a day to celebrate,” Roybal-Allard said in a statement. Tunneling is slated to be completed in September, said MTA spokesman Jose Ubaldo.last_img read more