The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority held a luncheon and workshop in Glendora on Friday to update the status of the project for supporters.
The Authority also debuted the design for one of the first big pieces of infrastructure on the line — a bridge over the eastbound lanes of the 210 freeway. I posted a second photo of a model of the bridge after the jump. I thought it was a pretty striking piece of architecture and, in fact, construction crews are already doing geotechnical work on the site to determine how best to engineer the bridge.
The Construction Authority’s plan is still to break ground on the Pasadena to Azusa line in June, although that’s dependent on the Authority — an independent agency that is building the line — first reaching a so-called funding transfer agreement with Metro. Authority officials say that has to happen in the next few weeks to preserve the June groundbreaking date.
Three members of the House of Representatives whose districts cover parts of the San Gabriel Valley also spoke at the event: Adam Schiff, Judy Chu and David Dreier.
Dreier, a longtime supporter of the project, kept his remarks very brief but both Schiff and Chu said they support other transit projects in the area but also need to keep seeing a commitment from Metro to support the Foothill Extension.
Chu said that she got “chewed out” for an hour by the mayor — she obviously meant Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa — after she and 13 other members of Congress signed a letter in October urging the Metro Board to pursue federal funding for the Foothill Extension and other projects. The Board declined, but did adopt a policy that Metro will pay to begin operating the Foothill line in 2013 if the Construction Authority can finish it by then.
So the politics will continue to be interesting to watch. Metro is pursuing $77.6 million in the next federal budget for preliminary engineering work on the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector projects and will likely need support from much of the area’s Congressional delegation.