More work on the technical study for extending the Gold Line to South El Monte and Whittier has been completed and will be shared at community meetings that begin tonight. Much of the info to be discussed is in the above presentation.
Here’s the lineup:
- February 6, 6–8pm
Whittier Uptown Senior Center
13225 Walnut St, Whittier, CA 90602
- February 7, 6–8pm
901 Via San Clemente, Montebello, CA 90640
- February 8, 6–8pm
South El Monte Senior Center
1556 Central Av, South El Monte, CA 91733
- February 15, 6-8pm
Commerce Senior Center
2555 Commerce Way, Commerce, CA 90040
- February 16, 6-8pm
5425 East Pomona Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90022
A draft environmental study for the project was completed in 2014 but a lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since then. First and foremost: Measure M was approved by Los Angeles County voters in November, meaning there is now funding in place to extend the Gold Line to both South El Monte or Whittier.
The Metro Board still must select which leg would be built first, but at least it’s no longer one area or the other (Measure R only had funding for one alignment). Under the Measure M spending plan, the first segment would be completed in 2035 and the second in 2057. Yeah, I know — that’s not easy to get a brain wrapped around. But as with other Measure M mega-projects, Metro is exploring ways to possibly accelerate some of them.
On this project, a technical study was launched in 2014 to help resolve some issues that came up during the draft EIR study and find solutions satisfactory to other government agencies involved. Two of the larger issues: how to get the train through a Superfund site along the 60 freeway en route to South El Monte and how to get the train to Washington Boulevard en route to Whittier?
As for the first issue, Metro continues to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Caltrans on how to best get the train through the site while preserving the option of widening the freeway at a later time.
On the Whittier segment, the Metro Board in 2014 eliminated the possibility of the train using an elevated structure to travel above Garfield Avenue in Montebello and unincorporated L.A. County — such a structure would have literally loomed over too many homes. Instead, Metro has looked at some other possibilities, including one that shows promise: an underground segment on Atlantic Boulevard that would run through Commerce on the way to Whittier and have a stop adjacent to the Citadel Outlets in the city of Commerce.
Another issue that has come forth: if both segments are built, how would that impact rail operations? After the Regional Connector is completed, Metro will operate one light rail line going between Santa Monica and East L.A. (and later South El Monte and Whittier) and another between Long Beach and Azusa (and later Claremont or Montclair). The plan is to run trains as often as every five minutes on those two lines.
Of course, if that line is split at Atlantic Station one day in the future, running trains every five minutes to both South El Monte and Whittier gets trickier. That’s why Metro is exploring is a junction at Atlantic Station that would also allow trains to run between South El Monte, Atlantic and Whittier. That would allow more frequent service on the new alignments.
After this round of community meetings, Metro staff plan to take the technical study to the Metro Board in April to address their concerns and get their approval of going ahead with more studies of these concepts.
If you would like us to come out and share information with your group, please contact Lilian De Loza-Gutierrez at 213.922.7479 or email us at email@example.com.