Eight years after breaking ground, the has reached a key milestone in Downtown Los Angeles, Metro announced yesterday.

Station platform at the Regional Connector's Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill StationMetro

Track work is now complete for the $1.8-billion subway tunnel, which stretches roughly 1.9 miles below Downtown Los Angeles, connecting the A (Blue), E (Expo), and L (Gold) Lines. The project, which is scheduled to begin serving passengers in Fall 2022, is now more than 90 percent complete.

In addition to a rebuilt Little Tokyo/Arts District Station at 1st Street and Central Avenue, the Regional Connector adds two new stops: the Historic Broadway Station at 2nd Street and Broadway and the Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill Station and 2nd Place and Hope Street. The two new stops will sit within walking distance of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center, Grand Park, the Colburn School, MOCA, the Broad, and Grand Central Market, and other destinations.

By enabling through-routing between Little Tokyo and 7th Street/Metro Center Station in the Financial District, the Regional Connector is expected to save commuters up to 20 minutes per trip by reducing the need for transfers and creating dedicated north-south and east-west lines, with the A Line running from Long Beach to Azusa and the L Line traveling from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

View from station platform at Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill StationMetro

The more straightforward travel pattern is expected to be a boon to ridership as well. The completed project is expected to serve up to 88,000 daily passengers, with 17,000 of them being new riders.

The Regional Connector, like Metro's Crenshaw/LAX Line, has faced numerous delays since starting construction in 2014. At the time of the project's groundbreaking, completion was expected in 2020.

For more images inside the Regional Connector, head over to Streetsblog.

View of station platform from mezzanine at Grand Avenue Arts/Bunker Hill StationMetro