BEVERLY HILLS—The extension of Metro’s Purple Line was victorious in a lawsuit filed by the Beverly Hills Unified School District in 2015. On Monday, May 18, Judge George H. Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued the ruling in favor of Metro. The Purple Line Extension has faced opposition since the announcement was made regarding the project.
The Purple Line is being built in three sections. The first section is between Wilshire/Western and Wilshire/La Cienega. It has already undergone significant construction and is expected to be complete by 2023. The second section is between downtown Beverly Hills and Century City. It will be complete by 2025. The third section, utilizing the first and second, will then extend to Westwood.
The BHUSD took issue with the second section in particular, as it would be built underneath Beverly Hills High School. The BHUSD complained that it would damage older buildings, prevent the expansion of the underground parking lot, expose BHHS students to air pollution, and produce potential seismic issues. Public measures outside of court were also the focus of the resistance of the project, known as the “stop the Purple Threat,” campaign. Lisa Korbatov, the former BHUSD board president, called on the Trump administration to cut off federal funding for the extension. BHHS students protested at Will Rogers Memorial Park in 2018.
The courts required the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to conduct an environmental analysis through vast documentation. Due to the information provided, it maintains that the Metro’s decision to go underneath BHSS was made thoroughly through necessity. Judge Wu denied BHUSD’s opposition and their request for Metro to pay $1 million.
Throughout the years, Metro has stated: “Nearly 70 percent of voters countywide voted to bring this project and other transportation improvements to reality, including nearly 67 percent of Beverly Hills voters.”
With the decision, construction beneath Beverly Hills High School is expected to assume in the coming weeks.