All structural work complete for I-210 bridge for Gold Line Foothill Extension!

Here's the news release issued today by the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, which is building the 11.5-mile line from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border:

MONROVIA, Calif. – After more than one year of intense activity, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) announced today that all structural work has been completed on the I-210 Gold Line Bridge. This announcement follows the recent completion of post-tensioning activities (internal strengthening of the structure through tensioning of supportive steel bands) and grouting of all internal ducts – the last steps in the process to complete the structural elements of the 584-linear foot, $18.6 million rail bridge.

“The bridge can now stand on its own,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “This is an important milestone in our progress to complete the bridge, and we commend Skanska USA for their hard work and ability to meet the project deadlines while providing excellent craftsmanship.”

With the structure now fully secure on its own, the temporary support structure will now be removed. The “falsework,” which was installed in a series of nighttime closures in February and March 2012, has supported the bridge while under construction. Up to 20 nighttime closures of the eastbound I-210 Freeway will take place over the next six weeks to safely remove this temporary structure.

“The removal of the falsework is even more challenging than the installation,” said Balian. “When Skanska installed the support structure there was nothing around. Now they need to work around the bridge, as well as over an active freeway.”

To safeguard the traveling public, full closures of the eastbound I-210 Freeway are planned. For each of these consecutive closures, the eastbound I-210 Freeway will be closed between Baldwin and Santa Anita Aves. from Midnight until 5:00 a.m. The first closures will occur starting late Tuesday, Sept. 4, and include closures on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Closures will continue the following week, starting late Sunday, Sept. 9, and continue through early morning Friday, Sept. 14. Additional dates will be announced as they are scheduled, with work expected to continue through mid-October.

“We understand that these closures can be inconvenient and we appreciate the community’s patience,” added Balian. “We encourage motorists and truckers who can use other routes to do so.”

When finished, the bridge will feature columns designed to resemble Native American baskets, in recognition of the first residents of the area – the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribe. The baskets are under development now, and will be installed after the falsework removal process is complete.

The bridge is on schedule to be completed in December 2012. In addition to the upcoming basket installation, additional work to be completed on the bridge includes: concrete placement for the barrier walls on either side of the deck, building retaining walls on the ingress and egress to the bridge, landscaping and lighting. In December, the bridge will be turned over to the Construction Authority, and future work to add the utilities, track and other light rail features.

To learn more or receive construction alerts and project updates, sign-up at: http://www.foothillextension.org/ or follow the project on Facebook and Twitter. To receive text alerts about freeway closures, text from your cell phone “GOLDLINENEWS” to 888777.

About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority)

The Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1999 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from Union Station to Montclair, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority built the initial segment from Union Station to Pasadena and is underway on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Foothill Extension is a nearly $1.6 billion extension that will connect Pasadena to Montclair in two construction segments. The first segment, Pasadena to Azusa, is funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R and currently underway. The 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa segment will be completed in late 2015 and includes future stations in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. Three design-build contracts, totaling more than $500 million will be overseen by the Construction Authority to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment, including the $18.6 million I-210 Gold Line Bridge, awarded to Skanska USA in June 2010 and a $486 million contract awarded in July 2011 to Foothill Transit Constructors (FTC). The Azusa to Montclair segment is currently undergoing final environmental review.

For more information, visit: www.foothillextension.org.

 

September Metro Service Council meetings

Agendas have been set for September’s five Service Council meetings, though changes may be made prior to the meeting dates. For a listing of the dates, times and locations of all five Service Council meetings, click here. For more information about each service council, click on the name of the service council listed below.

All September Council meetings include a report from Metro Service Council Director Jon Hillmer providing monthly and year to date statistics on ridership, performance and other measures of Metro service. In addition, a recent motion introduced by Director Antonovich for Regional Airport – Rail Connectivity Plan will be discussed, with Chris Haskell, a Metro Transportation Planning Manager, providing a brief report on the motion at all council meetings.

We wrote last month about corridor studies being conducted throughout the year by each Service Council. Councils will be discussing the corridor study in their area at their October meetings. We will feature an article on the various corridor studies each Council is involved with sometime in September.

Continue reading

Metro, Kiewet to open first two rebuilt Wilshire ramps three weeks early

Here's the news release from Metro:

Los Angeles, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and its contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, plan to open two key ramps — the Westbound Wilshire on-ramp to the Northbound I-405 and the Northbound I-405 off-ramp to Westbound Wilshire — on Friday, August 31 to L.A. motorists, approximately three weeks earlier than scheduled and just in time for Labor Day weekend.

The ramp closures, popularly known as “Ramp Jam” or “Rampture,” were originally scheduled for 90-day closures that officially began on June 22. They were originally scheduled to reopen September 22.

Kiewit benefited from built-in contract incentives to complete work early in efforts by Metro to reduce the duration of traffic impacts resulting from major construction activities. Work crews worked day and night to demolish and rebuild the ramps. Additionally, the project team scheduled the work after UCLA’s quarter ended in June, resulting in lighter local traffic conditions that allowed construction crews to take all needed lane closures and accelerate their work.

Continue reading


Your playbook for taking Metro to USC football

Tomorrow is a big — no make that huge — day for the Expo Line. The University of Southern California is opening its football season at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum as the number one ranked team in the country and the game against Hawaii is the first chance for Expo to take people to the game and avoid the usual traffic quagmire. (News release and video here).

Below you will find a very good guide put together showing how to take Metro trains and/or buses to reach the Coliseum from different parts of Los Angeles County (pdf here).

There is free or paid parking at a number of Metro Rail stations. Here's the link to parking info for each line. In addition, there are numerous public and private parking lots and garages near Metro Rail in Culver City (Expo Line), Hollywood (Red Line), Old Town Pasadena (Gold Line), Long Beach (Blue Line) and downtown Los Angeles (Red, Purple, Blue and Expo lines). There is also public parking at Union Station for $6 a day.

For those concerned that transit could put a crimp in their ability to tailgate, here's an idea: grab some food to go, arrive early and stake out a picnic spot in Exposition Park or on USC's campus. There's no eating or drinking on Metro trains or buses — it's the best way to keep them clean — but you can bring food in a bag.

Finally, give yourself a few extra minutes and load enough money to cover the cost of your fare on your way to the game; it will make leaving the game easier. It's obviously a big game for the Trojans for a whole lot of reasons and a huge crowd is expected. There will be significantly more trains running than usual, but there could still be lines, particularly after the game when everyone tries to head home at once. Metro will do its best to get everyone home safely and quickly.

Go Metro Guide to USC Football

 

Tech issues on metro.net today

As some of you may have seen by now, metro.net is having problems this afternoon and, to be perfectly blunt, isn't working. I think The Source is okay as long as people access the blog directly and don't go through the Metro website.

 

The tech team here at Metro HQ is working on it and hopefully everything will be back in working order soon. The agency apologizes for any inconvenience.


Transportation headlines, Thursday, August 30

Sorry for the delay in posting. I hit the trifecta this morning with transit delays — and my phone ran out of juice, to boot. One of those days, people.

Beverly Hills school board prepares for federal suit (Beverly Hills Patch)

The BHUSD school board voted to increase the pay to a Washington D.C.-based law firm, saying they plan to file suit against the Federal Transit Administration in federal court. The district has already filed a suit against Metro in local courts, challenging the agency's environmental study of the Westside Subway Extension under state law. The school board has now spent more than $500,000 on legal fees in their attempt to change the subway's route so that it doesn't tunnel under parts of the Beverly Hills High School campus.

Lawsuit seeks to slow AEG's football stadium (Daily News)

A coalition of downtown groups and environmentalists announced they plan to file a suit against a state law intended to expedite the environmental studies for the proposed Farmers Field adjacent to Staples Center and L.A. Live. Whether the lawsuits produce more studies — and whether those studies tell us anything we don't already know — is another question.

World's longest bus debuts at 98 feet (Tecca)

The three-part bus can carry 256 people and is set to hit the streets of Dresden, Germany, this fall. Officials say it's as easy to drive as a regular bus and has sophisticated technology to help with turning.

 


Artists of the Metro Orange Line exhibition opens October 11 at Los Angeles Valley College

Detail of Liquid Light: Flowing into the Future by Sam Erenberg, at Roscoe Station. Photo: Sam Erenberg.

 

Metro is organizing an exciting new exhibition in collaboration with Los Angeles Valley College. Opening on October 11, Translations: Artists of the Metro Orange Line features the works of twenty artists commissioned for the Metro Orange Line and demonstrates how artists enliven the public space of transit.

Artworks that reflect the artists' studio practice in relation to their Metro commissions will be on view, providing insight into the many ways artists translate their practices and material selections to create works of art for public transportation sites.

Featured artists: Lisa Adams, Sandow Birk, Caryl Davis, John Divola, Roy Dowell, Sam Erenberg, Jud Fine, Ken Gonzales-Day, Phung Huynh, Anne Marie Karlsen, Margaret Lazzari, Laura London, Daniel Marlos, Michele Martinez, John O'Brien, Renée Petropoulos, Roxene Rockwell, John Roloff, Pat Warner and Jody Zellen.

•Opening Reception & Artists Panel Discussion: Thursday, October 11, 2012, 6–9pm

•Panel with artists Lisa Adams, Ken Gonzales-Day and Anne Marie Karlsen at 7pm

•Moderated by Jorge Pardo, Director, Metro Art & Design, and Phung Huynh, Assistant Professor, Valley College Art Department.

Valley College Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 11am-2pm and 6-9pm (5800 Fulton Ave. Valley Glen, CA 91401). (Closed for the Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving holidays)

The gallery is located in the Art Building on the northwest corner of campus. Map. The exhibition ends December 13, 2012. Read the exhibition press release here.

View images of all artists’ Orange Line artwork here.