The tunnel boring machine (TBM) that will create the twin tunnels for the ambitious Regional Connector project was named and lowered in a ceremony on October 19 in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The TBM, named Angeli by Windsor McInerny, the winner of a student naming contest, is 450 feet long, 21.5 feet in diameter, and weighs about 1,000 tons. It will advance about 60 feet per day once digging begins and will take 16 to 18 months to complete the 1.1-mile tunnels.
Mott MacDonald is the lead designer for the $927 million project, which will connect the Los Angeles County Metro Rail’s Gold Line to the Blue and Expo lines, enabling one-seat travel by light rail from Pasadena through downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, or from Santa Monica to East Los Angeles. Such a trip now requires passengers to transfer downtown onto or off of the heavy-rail Red or Purple lines. Frank Frandina serves as Project Design Manager.