Construction scheduled to begin tonight on bridge over 210 for Gold Line Foothill Extension

The Foothill Extension will take the Gold Line from its current terminus in Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. It’s a project funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008.

The Santa Fe Railroad's Super Chief crosses the old bridge over the 210 freeway's eastbound lanes in 1971.

The last station on the Gold Line at present is at Sierra Madre Villa in the middle of the 210 freeway. The old Santa Fe rail right-of-way continues east along the 210 for about a mile. The new bridge will carry the tracks over the 210’s eastbound lanes as the tracks curve south toward downtown Arcadia, where there will be a new station — the old bridge was torn down years ago because of seismic concerns.

The Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the independent agency building the line, is currently selecting a contractor to build the rest of the line. The Authority says the scheduled completion date is 2015.

Here’s the news release about the bridge from the Construction Authority, which we received late Friday:


After nearly a year of design work, permit approvals and hiring of subcontractors, crews will start work on the I-210 Gold Line Bridge next week. The 584-linear foot bridge crosses over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway between Baldwin and Santa Anita Avenues, and will facilitate connection between the existing Sierra Madre Villa Station in East Pasadena and the future Arcadia Station. It is the first component of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa to move from design to construction.

Over the next few months, crews will clear the center and southern freeway medians, build a 500 foot long temporary retaining wall, and then start work on the massive foundations for the bridge structure. Intermittent late-night closures of the Eastbound I-210 Freeway will be necessary during the year-long bridge construction. The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority will issue regular construction notices to update the community on bridge construction activities and schedules.

An aeriel rendering of the new bridge for the Foothill Extension.

Community members can sign up to receive construction alerts via email or text message on the Authority’s website at Information is also available over the phone on the 24-hour project information hotline – (855) 446-1160.

The I-210 Bridge is scheduled to be completed in July 2012, in time for the alignment contractor to start installing the track, utilities, systems and more.

What To Expect This Week:

During the evenings of Tuesday, July 5 and Wednesday, July 6, work will require temporary closure of the Eastbound I-210 HOV and #1 freeway lanes from Rosemead Boulevard to Santa Anita Avenue. Closures will take place from 10:00 p.m. though 6:00 a.m. (a possible third night of the same closure may occur on Thursday, July 7). Minimal delays are expected.

About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1999 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line from Union Station to the Los Angeles County Line. The Metro Gold Line light rail line opened in 2003, connecting downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena. Los Angeles County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax increase will fully fund the segment between Pasadena and Azusa, currently under final design and construction, and will partially fund a future segment from Azusa to Montclair (currently undergoing environmental review). A proposed final extension to the LA/Ontario International Airport is also under study.

More information about the project and the Authority can be found at

7 replies

  1. Thanks for the update. When the staff of the Source has a spare moment, can we also get an update to the El Monte Station reconstruction? Construction started last August and now there is only a large hole in the ground. Are they on schedule?

  2. Any idea what’ll happen to that old Santa Fe signal that still sits along the right-of-way? Maybe donated to a local museum?

    • Hi Andy;

      I live in the San Gabriel Valley. I have seen very little in the way of old Santa Fe ROW stuff. I think a lot of it was moved for the Gold Line. I think the Santa Fe tracks were south of the freeway along Walnut before the 210 was built and the ROW was moved there. There’s more stuff on the part of the line from Arcadia heading eastward, including several old stations (Monrovia and Azusa).


      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. Steve,

    It’s pretty easy to make out the alignment you’re talking about on google maps. It looks like it followed the 210 until Wilson Ave, where it veered southeast, then turned east (between Walnut and Locust) until the Walnut/Foothill split, where it followed along the north side of Walnut, rejoining the 210 alignment just west of Sierra Madre Villa (they even built a tunnel/ramp there to join the old alignment to the new, it looks like)

    • Hey Robb;

      Good eye! Yep, I’ve seen that tunnel before just sitting there. Very weird. I forgot to mention, too, there’s an alley that goes right through Old Town Pasadena that I believe was used for the trains. There even used to be a train crossing sign on Colorado Blvd in Old Town. The Gold Line goes under it in that segment between Del Mar and Memorial Park stations.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  4. Yeah, the tracks were moved underground for the Gold Line, but before the Gold Line was built the tracks were on the surface through Old Town. I think Amtrak stopped running through Pasadena shortly after I moved here in 1991. (The passenger station became La Grande Orange restaurant, at the Del Mar Gold Line station)

    • Robb —

      I would have liked to see that. But I didn’t move to California until 1994 and was living on the Westside back then. I remember seeing the old station before it became an overpriced restaurant, although I will say the bar there serves a generous and tasty plate of nachos.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source