Here’s the latest update on planning and pre-construction efforts on the Gold Line Foothill Extension project, which will extend the Gold Line from Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border adjacent to Citrus College. The Foothill Extension is a project funded by Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.
The update is from Habib Balian, the CEO of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency that is building the line, which will be operated by Metro when completed:
Before the year comes to a close, I want to update you on progress made this month critical to our schedule.
First and foremost is the outstanding cooperation we have received from Caltrans. This month, the agency approved the Phase 2A (Pasadena to Azusa) Project Study Report/Project Report (PSR/PR) and Type Selection Study, essential documents for the progression of the Iconic Freeway Structure (IFS) and overall Phase 2A project. The PSR/PR, a detailed technical document required by Caltrans when working in their right-of-way, was approved for all elements of Phase 2A including construction of the IFS; upgrades to existing bridges, underpasses, and the I-210/I-605 Interchange; conduit laying; fence replacement and other key elements. Caltrans’ “Bridge Type Selection Committee” approved the Authority’s “Type Selection Study” after a substantive meeting in Sacramento with the Authority and the Skanska USA team to discuss the engineering, technical studies, and preliminary design submitted for the IFS. These approvals not only keep the IFS on schedule to begin construction in June, but also keep the entire Phase 2A alignment on schedule as we prepare to select a design-builder in the coming months.
Progress was also made this month, with the tremendous cooperation and leadership of Metro, on the critical agreement between Metro and BNSF in which BNSF agrees to relinquish use of the rail right-of-way west of Irwindale and agrees to share the corridor with the Gold Line east of Irwindale. Both parties approved in principle the terms of the agreement. Now their legal counsel is working to draw up the formal documents for signature within the next few weeks. As you may recall, obtaining this agreement is one of two necessary steps before substantial funding for Phase 2A is transferred to the Construction Authority.
As we gain momentum toward award of the Phase 2A Alignment contract in the Spring, we are establishing evaluation committees to evaluate and score the proposals (which are due January 27). Through this process, we will ensure that the team selected will provide the Authority with the best possible product at a great value and meet our high expectations.
Finally, as part of our overall goal for the project, the Authority will host scoping meetings for the Azusa to Montclair phase of the project (Phase 2B), which is currently undergoing environmental review. Many of the details about our progress and upcoming scoping meetings can be found on the Authority’s new website, launched last week (www.foothillextension.org). I encourage you to visit the site, view one of the new project videos or use the interactive maps to find information about the project or corridor cities, and more.
The Gold Line Authority Team looks ahead with great excitement to the coming year. For now – Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a Happy New Year.
The Journey Continues,
Habib F. Balian