A joint venture led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini Corp. has been awarded a $1.4 billion contract by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to construct the second phase of the Metro Purple Line subway through Beverly Hills and into Century City.

Separately, the Foothill/Gold Line Construction Authority announced a new timetable for work on the Gold Line extension through the eastern San Gabriel Valley to Montclair. Completion of the line has now been pushed back two years to early 2026 and the construction budget for that segment was also revised upward by $118 million to more than $1.3 billion.

On the Wilshire subway project, the team of Tutor Perini and O&G Industries of Torrington, Conn. submitted a bid that was $500 million lower than two other competing bid teams.

“Today’s contract award to Tutor Perini brings us one step closer to fulfilling our promise to bring fast, reliable, high-capacity subway service to the Westside,” Metro Board Chair and Duarte City Councilman John Fasana said in a statement. “We now have the funding in place and the contractor onboard to expedite delivery of this high priority, regionally beneficial transit project for Los Angeles County.”

In early January, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced $1.5 billion in new federal grants and loans to Metro to build section two of the project, which extends west from Wilshire/La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills to the intersection of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Blvd. in Century City. The total budget for this phase has been set at $2.4 billion.

The selection of Tutor Perini came despite the tortured history of Wilshire Boulevard subway construction between the transportation agency and predecessor contractor, Tutor Saliba Corp. In 1995, Tutor Saliba sued the Metropolitan Transportation Authority seeking recovery of $16 million in costs associated with change orders for construction of the portion of the Wilshire Boulevard subway known now as the Red Line. The MTA countersued, claiming Tutor Saliba inflated costs. A jury awarded a total of $63 million to the MTA, but that was overturned by an appeals court in 2005. The MTA dropped its remaining claims against Tutor Saliba five years later. Tutor Saliba subsequently merged with Perini Corp.

On the Foothill/Gold Line project, Foothill/Gold Line Construction Authority Chief Executive Habib Balian said in an email statement that extra unanticipated work associated with relocating of freight and Metrolink lines was the main factor in pushing back the completion date two years. The upward budget revision of $118 million was due to the longer work period and increases in the minimum and prevailing wages to be paid to workers after recent enactment of the state’s minimum wage hike.

Balian also said in the email that the authority expects to pick the prime contractor for the $1.3 billion project next year. The extension will include six stations between Glendora and Montclair in San Bernardino County.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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