A Tunneling Machine Named Harriet Will Soon Start Digging the Crenshaw Line

It’s a big step forward for Metro, aside from one small hiccup

The past few weeks have been pretty monumental for the Crenshaw Line, the under-construction light rail that will connect the Green Line to the Expo Line and eventually offer a rail connection to LAX via a People Mover. A ceremony on Monday featured the huge tunnel-boring machine that will soon be lowered below Crenshaw and Exposition boulevards, assembled, and allowed to feast on dirt. The machine will dig 60 feet a day and provide the tunnel and three underground stations for the line, including one in historic Leimert Park Village.

The Leimert Park station

Image courtesy Metro's Source blog

Also on Monday, officials announced the name of the TBM: Harriet. Calvin Mosley, a junior at Inglewood’s City Honors high school, came up with the moniker to honor legendary abolitionist and Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.

Additional Crenshaw Line news involves brand new renderings of some of the line’s stations, which include elevated, surface, and subway stops. While the station look pretty darn gorgeous, the imaginary people featured don’t seem to accurately represent the diverse South L.A. neighborhoods the line will traverse.

“You guys… most of the scalies in these photos are white,” wrote a commenter on Metro’s blog. “This is the Crenshaw line.. c’mon. I can’t believe that No One thought about this before publishing these. Check out all the future white gentrifiers getting off at the downtown Inglewood station!”

the Downtown Inglewood station

Image courtesy Metro's Source blog

We asked Metro about the mostly lily-white images.

“These are just simple renderings intended to showcase new stations on the Crenshaw/LAX Line,” Media Relations Communications Manager Jose Ubaldo tells us. “There was no intent to display our ridership in any particular way. Anyone who rides Metro knows that our ridership is very diverse and we very much hope it stays that way.”