The nine-mile-long Purple Line Extension is heading toward the high rent district. With a recent federal grant of nearly $1.5 billion, the subway project is now ready to launch its second phase, which will take it to downtown Beverly Hills and Century City.

The grant will help fund the 2.6-mile second phase segment between Wilshire/La Cienega Station and Century City, and include new stations in downtown Beverly Hills and Century City at the corner of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard.

Last week the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that they are planning to recommend the joint venture of Tutor Perini/O & G to build this $2.4-billion segment.

Metro’s staff recommendation will be presented to the Metro Board of Director’s Construction Committee on January 19. The recommendation is based on the JV's competitive proposal of $1.37 billion, which is approximately one-half billion dollars lower than other competitor bids.  The full Metro Board is scheduled to consider the recommendation at its January 26 meeting.

Metro says the recommendation came after a "thorough and extensive" competitive bidding process. "The Tutor Perini team was ultimately deemed to have the best value proposal through a combination of technical, project management and price components. All three proposals submitted were comparable on their technical merits," says the staff report.

The recommendation is expected to keep the Purple Line Extension on schedule and on budget, say project officials.

For the Purple Line's second phase, Metro received a construction grant agreement of $1.187 billion through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant program and a $307-million loan through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIFIA program to total $1.494 billion. The project will also receive $169 million in federal funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program.

These figures, added with Metro’s $747 million local match made possible by 2008’s Measure R sales tax, brings the total to $2.4 billion that is now secured to continue construction of the project.

The 3.9 mile first phase of the project is currently under construction with new three new stations on the way at Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega. The second section will add another 2.6 miles to the project with one station at Wilshire/Rodeo in downtown Beverly Hills and a station in the heart of Century City.

Completion of the second subway section is anticipated no later than 2026 per a funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration and Metro is aiming to possibly finish the project at an earlier date. A third and final section will extend the subway to the Westwood/VA Hospital. Construction of this last section is planned to begin as early as 2019.