The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Gold Line Foothill Extension is tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Newcastle Park (101 Colorado Blvd.) in Arcadia. The event is open to the public and several public officials will be speaking about the long-awaited project, which is expected to begin construction later in the year.
The press release from Metro is after the jump. And here’s a link to a very lengthy earlier post looking at the project and with renderings of some of the stations.
Groundbreaking June 26, 2010
METRO GOLD LINE FOOTHILL EXTENSION IS FIRST MEASURE R RAIL PROJECT TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION
When the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension breaks ground this Saturday, June 26, it will significantly advance plans to improve public transportation throughout the region. It also will be the first Measure R rail project to begin construction.
The Foothill Extension will extend the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena 11 miles west to Azusa, with a later link planned to Montclair. The Metro Gold line – now operating between East Los Angeles and Pasadena — is an integral part of the Metro Rail system, which today spans 79 miles of track criss-crossing Los Angeles County.
“The Foothill Extension will take pressure off the over-burdened 210 freeway,” said Ara Najarian, Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “It’s going to help with air quality — not just in the San Gabriel Valley but throughout the region. It’s going to create 7,000 jobs — 2,600 in construction alone. It will generate nearly $1 billion in business revenues and $40 million in tax revenues.”
Under Metro’s Long-Range Transportation Plan, the Foothill Extension was not scheduled for completion until 2017. However, a unique funding agreement between Metro and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority — the agency building the line — accelerated construction. So work will likely be completed by mid 2014. Last March the Board of Directors of the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted unanimously to transfer up to $810 million in Measure R sales tax money and other funds to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. Once complete, Metro will operate the line.
The light rail will follow the path of the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad, starting at the current Gold Line terminus at Sierra Madre Villa Station and continuing down the center of the I-210 to Santa Anita Avenue before turning south of the freeway and joining the path of the former rail line. Stations will be in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa, which will have two stops. Hundreds of parking spaces are planned along the line.
“The Foothill Extension is just the beginning of a dozen major transit projects funded by Measure R,” Najarian said. “They are going to reshape Los Angeles County into a 21st Century region.”
Metro Rail will mark its 20th anniversary in July. It is already among the 10 largest rail systems in the United States carrying more than 300,000 weekday boarding passenegers on 79 miles of track It will almost double in size as light rail lines are extended through the San Gabriel Valley and Crenshaw corridor, through the South Bay, Eastside and Westside.
There also will be a downtown regional connector linking the Metro Blue, Gold and Expo lines, an extension of the Metro Purple Line subway to Westwood, plus a rapid transit option that will connect the San Fernando Valley and Westside through the Sepulveda Pass along the I-405 freeway corridor, an extension of the Metro Orange Line busway to Chatsworth, Metrolink and bus service improvements. (go to http://www.metro.net/projects/measurer/ for details.) Plans for high speed rail also are in the