Is there room for an Underground--or rather, Metro Rail--beneath the Valley?
Yes, way under.
The key to designing Metro Rail is to go under the existing maze wherever possible, down to a depth of 60 feet at the most, according to Mike Merrick, manager of Engineering Design for Metro Rail.
"We are prepared to make sure in designing the transit facilities that we have a practical rearrangement solution for each utility," Merrick said. "We don't want to have to build two miles of sewer, for instance, to detour around a station. We're going to hit utilities wherever we go so we have to get a very definite idea of where they are and plan our stations accordingly."
Plans for stations at Universal City and at the end of the line in North Hollywood, at Lankershim and Chandler boulevards, call for the stations to be about 60 feet underground. Generally, the tunnels will be dug 30 feet below.