LA County MTA Regional Connector project

Congratulations to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Regional Connector Transit project team on earning a 2023 Engineering News-Record (ENR) Best of the Best Project of the Year award!

A total of 20 projects that represent the pinnacle of design and construction achievement from across the U.S. received the 2023 Best of the Best award for their respective categories in February 2023. Judges, comprised of industry experts selected by ENR editors to evaluate various stages of the contest, chose the Regional Connector Transit project for this national award after it won the 2023 ENR regional Best of the Best competition in the Airport/Transit category.

With partnering facilitated by Neal Flesner of Velo Group, the $1.7-billion Regional Connector project was built to connect existing rail lines for seamless rides through Los Angeles County. The project entailed construction of 1.9 miles of twin-bored tunnels, 22 ft in diameter as well as three underground stations approximately 400 ft in length and varying from 40 to 112 ft in depth. A maze of underground utilities and unknown obstructions were encountered during tunnel boring that the team worked collaboratively to mitigate.

The project team used construction technology such as BIM-assisted design and Shape Accel Arrays—a system of wireless sensors to aid the tunnel boring machine Angeli in navigating through particularly tight tolerances and situations of very shallow cover when building the tunnels and its underground stations.

Further work entailed more than 3,700 feet of cut-and-cover tunnel construction in L.A.’s busy financial district. Temporary traffic decking was used to construct that scope as well as the underground stations during 55-hours of weekend closures.

Learn more about this award-winning project, including the team’s exceptional construction safety record and its community and sustainable efforts in this ENR article, “2022 Project of the Year: Linking Los Angeles” written by Aileen Cho.