Geologists, Engineers Dispute Metro’s Seismic Claims About Westside Subway Extension Through Century City
LOS ANGELES, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — After months of exhaustive study, a team of geologists and engineers today concluded that many of the claims made by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) about the need to build a subway tunnel under Beverly Hills High School do not hold up to scientific scrutiny.
The conclusions, described today during a public hearing, cast doubt on Metro’s assertion that the only viable route for the Westside Subway Extension through Century City is an alignment that tunnels directly under aging classrooms at Beverly Hills’ only public high school.
“Today the city of Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) were finally able to commence a serious discussion about the proposed subway station location in Century City,” said BHUSD attorney Kevin Brogan. “Highly respected experts in geology, seismology, subway construction and school construction testified that the facts they uncovered differ substantially from the conclusions reached by Metro and its contractors. Given these findings, we anticipate and expect a full and careful consideration of an alignment that protects the city’s only public high school from unnecessary risk and disruption.”
The city and BHUSD support the Westside Subway Extension – two stations along the $5.3-billion project would be built within the city limits – but oppose Metro’s current alignment under the campus because it would severely restrict the district’s ability to modernize and expand as required by a voter-approved bond measure.
Experts from Leighton Consulting, Kenney GeoScience, Earth Consultants International and Primesource Consulting conducted extensive new testing under the direction of the California Geological Survey that included significant trenching, one of the most definitive methods for determining the existence of geologic faults. They also conducted a thorough review of existing data about the geologic conditions in Beverly Hills and Century City.
- Faults identified by Metro consultants on the Beverly Hills High School campus do not exist or are inactive, a finding verified by the California Geological Survey.
- Faults that were identified by Metro consultants along Santa Monica Boulevard, long the preferred route between Beverly Hills and Westwood, should be classified as inactive because they have not ruptured in the past 11,000 years.
“What we demonstrated today is that all of the data Metro uses to justify an unnecessary alignment is suspect and simply does not stand up to serious scrutiny,” said Tim Buresh, the district’s lead engineer studying Metro’s proposed alignments. “Early projections by Metro showed that a Santa Monica alignment would be cheaper to build and serve more riders, but those considerations were brushed aside to move the station at taxpayer expense by claiming faults made it too dangerous to build along Santa Monica. Today, we are demonstrating that those conclusions are flawed, and we expect additional studies to only bolster our findings. It is entirely possible for Metro to serve more riders and save taxpayers money without tunneling under Beverly Hills High School.”
SOURCE Beverly Hills Unified School District