The Beverly Hills City Council on Aug. 19 approved an agreement with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) that greatly limits the impact of construction activity for the utility relocation phase of the Purple Line Extension/La Cienega Station. The memorandum of agreement (MOA) restricts construction hours, limits the duration and volume of construction noise, guarantees pedestrian access, provides for replacement parking for residents and businesses if needed and funding by Metro for mitigating impacts to businesses.
The Beverly Hills City Council’s action directs City staff to issue permits for relocation of the City’s water, sewer and storm drain systems and SoCal Edison’s electrical lines in preparation for construction of the La Cienega subway station. The actual start date for construction has not been determined; however, utility relocation work is likely to begin in September/October and is anticipated to take 30 months to complete.
The MOA with LA Metro goes beyond the City’s municipal code for regulating construction in the public right of way. Daytime construction for most work will take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Nighttime work will only be allowed for activities that would be excessively disruptive to citizens during the day, such as planned utility service interruptions and large scale road closures.
In addition, limitations will be imposed on a variety of construction noise, including back-up alarms, slamming tailgates, jackhammers and idling of vehicles. Temporary noise barriers and noise blankets will be used during high volume activities and noise shall be continuously monitored and cannot exceed five decibels above existing ambient noise levels. A phone line for calling in complaints will be staffed by LA Metro 24 hours a day.
The agreement also provides for enforcement using an independent compliance monitor who will have the authority to levy fines and immediately halt work if there is a violation of the permit conditions or a threat to public safety. Metro will pay up to $1 million for alleviating the impacts of construction on local businesses and has agreed to pay for public outreach and reimbursement of City staff costs associated with this agreement.
The agreement was reached after several meetings with local residents and business owners, who expressed concerns about the impact to quality of life and business revenue from noise, traffic and parking during the project.
The current MOA covers only utility relocation activity. Actual subway tunnel and station construction will be controlled by separate agreements that will be negotiated in the future.