Foothill Extension Gold Line calls for bids from firms to construct 11.5-mile rail line

A rendering of the Foothill Extension's Monrovia station.

Plans to extend the Gold Line from its current northern terminus at Sierra Madre Villa in Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border took a step forward on Monday, when firms were asked to submit their bids to construct the project.

Earlier in the year, the Foothill Extension Construction Authority — the independent agency building the line — awarded a contract for a rail bridge over the eastbound lanes of the 210 freeway. That work should begin in the next few months. The request for bids on Monday is for the $450-million contract to actually build the entire rail line, including the tracks and stations.

The entire press release from the Construction Authority is after the jump. The big thing to keep an eye on here is that the Construction Authority is asking firms submitting bids to loan them the money to help build it quicker. The winning firm will be paid back over time as Measure R funds are transferred from Metro (which will eventually operate the line) to the Construction Authority. The goal is a 2014 opening.

Seems smart. There aren’t a lot of $450-million construction contracts up for bids these days thanks to the ongoing recession. So it will be interesting to see what kind of deal the Construction Authority can secure — and, if so, whether it’s something that other projects can do.

Click above for a larger image.

Click above for a larger image.