Gold Line Construction Authority green-lights full construction activities on Foothill Extension

Work progresses on the Foothill Extension's I-210 Freeway bridge. Photo via Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

The latest news from the Gold Line Construction Authority is that the authority has issued a “full notice to proceed” to contractor Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture, thus keeping the line on track for completing construction in the second half of 2015 and then handing the project over to Metro, which will operate the line.

Click for a larger map.

The Gold Line Foothill Extension will, as the name implies, extend the Gold Line for 11.5 miles from the Sierra Madre Villa station in eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border (interactive map here). The Measure R-funded project will include new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and two in Azusa.

Work on the new rail bridge that will carry the tracks over the eastbound 210 freeway began last year and has progressed quickly. Work on the rest of the line, until now, has been limited to working on design and pre-construction activities while the Construction Authority worked to clear two hurdles: obtain 50 percent of the land needed for a maintenance yard and wait for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway to turn over its rail right-of-way west of Irwindale. Major construction is now expected to begin in the fall 2012.

The full press release is after the jump.


MONROVIA, CA – The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) has issued a Full Notice to Proceed to Foothill Transit Constructors – A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture for the $486 million Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa light rail Alignment project.

The Full Notice to Proceed affords the Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture the ability to implement all aspects of the design-build contract, including design and construction of the 11.5-miles of tracks, stations, crossings, bridges, utilities, maintenance facility and more. The total project budget is $735 million.

“The Authority board awarded the contract to the Kiewit Parsons team in July 2011 with a limited scope of design and pre-construction activities,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “Today’s action gives the contractor the go-ahead to complete the entire project, and keeps us on schedule for construction completion in 2015.”

In July, the Construction Authority was in the process of working to meet two major conditions placed on the project by Metro, which limited the availability of funds. The Authority issued the Interim Notice to Proceed at that time to allow the contractor to begin work on the design and pre-construction phases of the project while the Authority continued work to meet the two funding conditions. The first condition – BNSF’s abandonment of the rail right-of-way west of Irwindale was completed in February. The second condition – full control over more than 50 percent of the land needed for the project’s 24-acre maintenance facility – was met late last month.

“It took a significant effort to overcome these two funding conditions” said Balian. “However, with the help of our partners at numerous agencies (including Metro, the corridor cities, Caltrans, and others), the conditions have now been met, enabling  the Kiewit Parsons team the opportunity to continue with their plan for major construction to begin this Fall.”


About the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension is a $1.4 billion project, partially funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R. The light rail extension is being overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority and is currently undergoing final design and construction for the Pasadena to Azusa segment and environmental review for the Azusa to Montclair segment.

Construction of the 11.5-mile light rail extension to Azusa is on schedule to be completed in late 2015, adding stations in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. Once completed, the Pasadena to Azusa segment will be handed over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. During construction, the LAEDC estimates that the Pasadena to Azusa segment will generate nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion of economic output for the region. The Construction Authority anticipates releasing the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Azusa to Montclair segment later this year.

7 replies

  1. When will the MTA and Expo Line Authority apologize for the delays and cost overruns? Adults apologize when they screw up. When should we expect the MTA to apologize?

  2. M Smith:
    Original Line to Pasadena (under the name Blue Line because it was seen as an extension of the Blue Line once the then mythological Regional Connector would some day be built) was cancelled by MTA because of the 1990’s recession that caused significant reductions in revenue. In fact, a lot of projects were cut. Also, it was a dark time for the LACMTA with subway scandals and high costs. If one was too close to MTA, one turned to mud.

    However, the SGV politicians and interest really wanted this line, but they knew the MTA had lost a lot of credibility, so, instead they created the very model we use today to build rail projects. They created the Blue Line Construction Authority who upon completion would turn the line over to the MTA for ownership and operation (many “contractors” on the BLCA were MTA staff, so this was a game of NAMES, really). BLCA immediately began SLASHING everything they could from the line to make it less expensive to build, even message signs were eliminated. The biggest change to the route was that the BLCA abandoned the Green Street Alignment that would have DIRECTLY served more of downtown Pasadena and PCC. Green Street was to be a transit mall used by only LRT and buses, but the Green Street merchants were vehemently against this, and they threatened suit. So, the line was cheapskated to continue in the median of the 210 were the freight rail ROW existed anyway, but today it is a sour taste in the mouth as the current Gold Line (MTA board considered Rose Line before approving Gold Line moniker) with its POOR connections to major bus lines on Colorado and its inaccessibility to PCC.

    A lot of our “system” or rail lines are the result of forces among the least of which was good planning. Measure R comes the closest to making it a “system” but even that has too many political add-ons to get more interests aboard (Sup Antonovich being one). Things were so bad that originally the Blue and Red Lines were NEVER designed nor intended to connect as two different and warring agencies were building each and despised each other. The Green Line was the result of a 25-30 year lawsuit, never part of a system wide plan, Gold eastside extension to appease angry politicians for the failed promise of the subway extending east, Orange because a politician wanted something “NOW” and Chandler ROW was paid for we ought to do “SOMETHING” with it, the same attitude for Expo. Much of the current and future system has been less planning and more of a figure it out as we go along. There was a very ambitious plan in the 1980’s including several Trolly Bus lines, but the 1990’s recession killed almost ALL of it.

  3. Looks like it’s going to be smooth sailing since the ROW is already in place and the maintenance facility issue has been resolved. I hope the whole project will finish early since I read that the 210 bridge is going to finish half a year early than expected.

  4. Great news, boy progress on the iconic bridge over the 210 is incredible.

    Anyhow, I read somewhere that construction will actually work east to west, meaning it will start in Azusa and end up in Arcadia…is that correct? Wouldn’t it make more sense to start in Arcadia and work your way east? I am always afraid that it may be delayed or never finish, so I prefer they work west to east “just in case.” We don’t want to run into any problems like the Gold Line L.A. to Pasadena did, remember, it started in 1995, then something happened (forgot what it was), got delayed, and finally finished in 2003? (8 years to build 13 miles of light rail).