Metro Board of Directors to meet Thursday with agreement with Foothill Extension on tap

Just a reminder that the Metro Board of Directors have their regular monthly meeting on Thursday morning at Metro headquarters adjacent to Union Station at 9:30 a.m. Meetings are, of course, open to the public and in case you were wondering, the Metro Board room features free wi-fi.

Here’s a link to the meeting agenda. The big ticket item at tomorrow’s meeting is the Board’s scheduled vote (item 10 on the agenda) on a funding agreement between Metro and the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency responsible for building the light rail line from the Gold Line’s current terminus in Pasadena to Azusa.

The agreement is significant because it allows the Construction Authority to go forward and seek construction bids on building the main part of the project, which the Authority hopes to break ground on this summer and complete by 2013. One big issue in the funding agreement is how much oversight Metro has over the construction of the project (since Metro will one day be operating the line).

Foothill Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian sent an email to project supporters today that he is pleased with the agreement and expects it to pass. The email is posted after the jump. The email from Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian:

Negotiations between the Construction Authority and Metro have successfully completed and produced recommended Funding and Master Cooperative Agreement term sheets for consideration by the Metro board tomorrow.  The final draft eliminates redundancies and inefficiencies proposed in previous versions; while at the same time providing Metro with assurances that the design and quality of construction meets their design criteria. The final draft also provides significant coordination and information sharing between agencies. I have attached a one-page summary for your review.

These negotiations concluded amicably due to the hard work of many, including Metro Board members from throughout the region and their staff, Metro staff and counsel, and Ara Najarian, whose leadership and involvement was integral to this success.

I am optimistic that the term sheets will be approved in this final form at tomorrow’s Metro Board meeting. If you are available to attend, the meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at Metro Headquarters (One Gateway Plaza, 3rd Floor Board Room).

The timing of this approval is critical. Just yesterday, the Authority received Statements of Qualifications from four highly qualified design-build teams interested in participating in a public-private partnership with the Authority to finance and build the Phase 2A Alignment. The teams include (in alpha order): Atkinson Contractors/Granite Construction Co./Clark Construction Group; Kiewit Pacific Co./Parsons Transportation Group; Shimmick Construction Co./URS Corp.; and Skanska USA/Balfour Beatty USA. And early next month, the Authority will be receiving proposals for design and construction of the Iconic Freeway Structure from the previously-qualified teams.

When approved tomorrow, the Authority will be on schedule for a June 19 ground breaking.

The Journey Continues,

Habib F. Balian

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