- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The first piece of a giant tunneling machine that will bore mile-long subway holes has gone into a pit in downtown Los Angeles.

The big metal cylinder was lowered by crane on Wednesday in Little Tokyo. The tunneling machine also got a name: “Angeli.” An eighth-grade student submitted the winning name in a contest.

Angeli will be assembled over the next few months. In January, it will begin drilling twin tunnels to link the existing Blue, Expo and Gold lines in and out of downtown. New stations also will be built.

The so-called Regional Connector Transit Project will cost about $1.6 billion. Los Angeles County transit authorities say when the line is completed in 2021, it will serve 88,000 riders a day and shave 20 minutes off commutes.

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