Effort to Stop Downtown Subway Work Squashed

New lawsuit won’t hinder work on three new stations and two miles of track


The complicated Regional Connector project—which will add a new Downtown underground service connecting disparate light rail lines—marches on, even with another lawsuit lobbed at it.

Construction issues and permits were the basis for a third lawsuit against the two-mile project by the Japanese Village pedestrian mall. Owners of the popular Little Tokyo shopping center wanted an immediate stoppage to work, but an L.A. County Superior Court judge denied their request this week, the L.A. Times reports.

At issue was “easements,” or permits, for “grouting,” a process of injecting concrete into the ground to stabilize it as subway tunnels are built. Japanese Village officials claim builders never obtained the easements, but went ahead with the grouting anyway, causing some damage. With more grouting planned, the lawsuit was filed to stop work immediately.

While work will continue, the overall lawsuit is still pending. The Japanese Village sued against the project on state environmental grounds, but lost. The mall is also appealing a federal ruling that they also lost.

When it opens in 2020, the Regional Connector will add three new stations in DTLA, and allow people to ride from Santa Monica to East L.A., and Long Beach and Azusa without transferring.