All structural work complete for I-210 bridge for Gold Line Foothill Extension!

Here's the news release issued today by the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, which is building the 11.5-mile line from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border:

MONROVIA, Calif. – After more than one year of intense activity, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) announced today that all structural work has been completed on the I-210 Gold Line Bridge. This announcement follows the recent completion of post-tensioning activities (internal strengthening of the structure through tensioning of supportive steel bands) and grouting of all internal ducts – the last steps in the process to complete the structural elements of the 584-linear foot, $18.6 million rail bridge.

“The bridge can now stand on its own,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “This is an important milestone in our progress to complete the bridge, and we commend Skanska USA for their hard work and ability to meet the project deadlines while providing excellent craftsmanship.”

With the structure now fully secure on its own, the temporary support structure will now be removed. The “falsework,” which was installed in a series of nighttime closures in February and March 2012, has supported the bridge while under construction. Up to 20 nighttime closures of the eastbound I-210 Freeway will take place over the next six weeks to safely remove this temporary structure.

“The removal of the falsework is even more challenging than the installation,” said Balian. “When Skanska installed the support structure there was nothing around. Now they need to work around the bridge, as well as over an active freeway.”

To safeguard the traveling public, full closures of the eastbound I-210 Freeway are planned. For each of these consecutive closures, the eastbound I-210 Freeway will be closed between Baldwin and Santa Anita Aves. from Midnight until 5:00 a.m. The first closures will occur starting late Tuesday, Sept. 4, and include closures on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Closures will continue the following week, starting late Sunday, Sept. 9, and continue through early morning Friday, Sept. 14. Additional dates will be announced as they are scheduled, with work expected to continue through mid-October.

“We understand that these closures can be inconvenient and we appreciate the community’s patience,” added Balian. “We encourage motorists and truckers who can use other routes to do so.”

When finished, the bridge will feature columns designed to resemble Native American baskets, in recognition of the first residents of the area – the Gabrieleno/Tongva Tribe. The baskets are under development now, and will be installed after the falsework removal process is complete.

The bridge is on schedule to be completed in December 2012. In addition to the upcoming basket installation, additional work to be completed on the bridge includes: concrete placement for the barrier walls on either side of the deck, building retaining walls on the ingress and egress to the bridge, landscaping and lighting. In December, the bridge will be turned over to the Construction Authority, and future work to add the utilities, track and other light rail features.

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About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority)

The 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 light rail line from Union Station to Montclair, along the foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The Construction Authority built the initial segment from Union Station to Pasadena and is underway on the Gold Line Foothill Extension. The Foothill Extension is a nearly $1.6 billion extension that will connect Pasadena to Montclair in two construction segments. The first segment, Pasadena to Azusa, is funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R and currently underway. The 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa segment will be completed in late 2015 and includes future stations in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. Three design-build contracts, totaling more than $500 million will be overseen by the Construction Authority to complete the Pasadena to Azusa segment, including the $18.6 million I-210 Gold Line Bridge, awarded to Skanska USA in June 2010 and a $486 million contract awarded in July 2011 to Foothill Transit Constructors (FTC). The Azusa to Montclair segment is currently undergoing final environmental review.

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