Officials gather to praise Foothill Extension

A rendering of the future Gold Line station in Monrovia

A rendering of the future Gold Line station in Monrovia

A kickoff event for the Gold Line Foothill Extension was held in Monrovia on Saturday. The press release is posted after the jump.

One item I want to clarify: Although the Foothill Extension Construction Authority — an agency independent of Metro — is aiming for a 2013 completion date, there remains some financial deals that still must be done. The Metro Board of Directors last month agreed to begin operating the line if it’s ready to roll in 2013.

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Celebrates
Green-light to Break Ground in June 2010

Metro Board Funding Puts Foothill Add New Post ‹ The Source — WordPressExtension on Track for Azusa opening in 2013; Community Comes Together at this Milestone Achievement for San Gabriel Valley

Monrovia (November 21, 2009) – Today, a coalition of elected officials and community leaders joined hundreds of community residents to celebrate funding for the Gold Line’s much- anticipated Foothill Extension.  In approving its Long Range Transportation Plan last month, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board allocated $851 million for the project, setting in motion next June’s groundbreaking for the Pasadena-to-Azusa Foothill Extension.

The festive gathering at the future site of the Monrovia Station attracted key supporters of the project, including Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congressman David Dreier, Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, California Transportation Commissioner Larry Zarian, Metro Board Chair Ara Najarian, Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Duarte Mayor (and Metro Board member) John Fasana, Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Chairman Keith Hanks and members of the Authority’s Board of Directors, Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors and representatives of the cities along the alignment.  In commemorating this significant project milestone, officials also unveiled the first of six Foothill Extension station signs which highlights the rendering of the station design and announces “Construction Begins 2010.”

“The Foothill Extension will represent an important early achievement for Measure R funds and translate into thousands of new jobs, increased economic investment and new public transit options increasing regional connectivity,” said Metro Board Chair Najarian. “We look forward to continuing the momentum around this vitally-needed project and working together to create the world-class transit system we all envision. “

Funding for the Foothill Extension was included in Measure R, the half-cent sales tax that went into effect on July 1 and is allocated through Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan. The long-range plan includes $851 million for the extension of the Foothill Extension light rail transit line from Pasadena to Azusa, construction of a maintenance yard and the purchase of rail cars.

The Foothill Extension will help one of the fastest-growing regions of Los Angeles County accommodate new residents, create billions of dollars in new investments in the communities along the route, remove cars from the road and improve air quality in the region. Construction of the Foothill Extension to Montclair will create more than 30,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs during construction.

“We have had unprecedented support throughout the entire process from our local, state and federal elected officials, residents, business leaders and I Will Ride campaign supporters and today we are thanking them all for helping us reach this momentous occasion,” said Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Chairman Keith Hanks.   “The Foothill Extension will truly revitalize the San Gabriel Valley at this critical time.  We should all be very proud to be the first Measure R rail project slated to break ground and put people to work.”

“The Foothill Extension is a tremendous example of what leadership and cooperation can achieve on behalf of the communities we serve,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu.  “This project will go a long way towards meeting the growing demand for transit in the Foothill communities.  I look forward to the important work ahead to meet the aggressive schedule and secure financing for the route’s future phases to Montclair and then Ontario Airport.”

The Foothill Extension is now undergoing the procurement process for the design-build phase of the project. Initial steps are underway in the Authority’s efforts to attract and retain highly qualified engineering and design firms to help meet the project’s schedule.

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About the Metro Gold Line Construction Authority

The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature.  Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line (which opened to Pasadena in 2003) eastward to Montclair, enhancing the transportation experience of commuters in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.  The Metro Gold Line light rail system opened in 2003, connecting downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena.  Funds from Los Angeles County Measure R half-cent sales tax increase will be used for the construction of the Foothill Extension from the Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena to Azusa, beginning in 2010.