Foothill Extension looks at cost and timeline of building line to Claremont and Montclair

The Measure R half-cent sales tax approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008 is funding the Gold Line Foothill Extension that extend the Gold Line for 11.5 miles from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border.

The Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the independent agency building the project, is also seeking to extend the line further to Montclair. Although the Azusa-to-Montclair segment is presently unfunded, it is listed as a priority project tier 1 of the strategic unfunded list in the Metro long-range plan adopted by the Board of Directors in 2009.

Here’s a news release from the Construction Authority about the cost and timeline of pushing the line further east:

Approved Expenditure Plan Identifies Funding Need and Timing

Monrovia, CA – At the monthly meeting late yesterday, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) board of directors approved an updated expenditure plan for the Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Claremont. The expenditure plan includes an estimated cost to complete the 23-mile light rail extension and a timeline for needing funding.  The expenditure plan is a legislative mandate, per the initiating statute for Los Angeles County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax, approved by voters in 2008.

The approved expenditure plan estimates the total project cost to complete the line to Claremont is $1.574 billion, of which $810 million has been allocated. The plan identifies a $764 million funding gap to complete construction to Claremont (the additional cost to complete the extension to Montclair, in San Bernardino County, will be dealt with separately).

“The State Legislature required the construction authorities receiving Measure R funds to prepare an expenditure plan to complete their capital projects,” said Construction Authority Board Chairman and Glendora Councilman Doug Tessitor. “It is important to recognize that the voters approved the project to Claremont, but Measure R allocates enough funding to complete the project only to Azusa. The expenditure plan allows a complete estimate of what funding is needed to complete the project.”

The expenditure plan anticipates the gap funding will be needed starting in 2016, with completion to Claremont anticipated in 2021. This timeline is based on the current schedule to complete construction of the first segment of the project (Pasadena to Azusa) in late 2015, and obtain environmental clearance for the Azusa to Montclair segment later this year. It will then take a few years to complete preliminary engineering and design for the second segment before it is ready for construction.

“There continues to be strong and unanimous support throughout the corridor to complete the light rail extension to Montclair and ultimately Ontario Airport,” said Tessitor. “The Construction Authority is committed to keeping the first segment to Azusa on schedule and budget, making it a success story for Measure R; while also preparing the second segment to Montclair for construction.”

The Construction Authority will now send the approved expenditure plan to Metro for their use in preparing a county-wide expenditure plan for Measure R.

About the Foothill Extension – The Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Montclair is a 24-mile light rail extension being overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. The extension is planned in two segments – Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair. Pasadena to Azusa is fully funded by Measure R and is under construction. Azusa to Montclair is currently undergoing final environmental review.  Construction of the Pasadena to Azusa segment is on schedule to be completed in late 2015, adding six new stations to the line. Once completed, each segment will be handed over to Metro to operate. During construction, the LAEDC estimates that each segment will generate approximately 7,000 jobs and $1 billion of economic output for the region.

3 replies

  1. Erik, I think it’s important to note that the Gold Line will better serve commuters in the Pomona Valley heading to and from Pasadena (and maybe eventually Ontario Airport) while the existing commuter rail goes more directly between Downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino. Just because they’re running next to one another for a short stretch doesn’t mean they’re entirely redundant. In fact, you could argue that having two trains going to several different locations could create a tipping point in encouraging transit usage in the area. More connections = More accessibility.

  2. Erik, my ideal world senario would be:
    * Gold/Blue Line (after the Regional Connector corridor is built) continues all the way to ONT.
    * Expo/Gold ‘Eastside’ Line splits at Beverly Blvd & SG River Parkway. The southern routing takes it through Whittier, SFS , and eventual ties in with the Green Line. The northern routing passes Rio Hondo College and goes off through Industry & Hacienda Heights, goes through Diamond Bar (or Walnut to hit Mt SAC) and onward toward Cal Poly and with a stop that would service the Fairplex crowds and at least on more stop in Pomona.

  3. How foolish are we as a region to build two-tracks of Light Rail parallel to two-tracks of existing frequent Diesel Commuter Rail from La Verne to Montclair, and later to Rancho Cucamonga when communities like downtown Pomona and downtown Ontario could use the shot in the arm that such transit lines can and do bring.