Gold Line Foothill Extension Bridge is complete!

A 584-foot bridge over the eastbound lanes of the 210 freeway — the first major piece of infrastructure for the Gold Line Foothill Extension — is now complete, on time and on budget. The media had their chance to see the bridge this morning and a public ceremony will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon at Newcastle Park in Arcadia (101 W. Colorado Boulevard).

The Foothill Extension will extend the Gold Line from its final station in Pasadena for 11.5 miles to the Azusa/Glendora border, near both Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University. The new $18.6-million bridge will take the two train tracks from the middle of the 210 freeway across the eastbound lanes to the south side of the freeway.

The project will have one set of tracks in each direction and is being built atop an old freight railroad right-of-way. An old bridge that spanned the 210 was demolished because of seismic concerns following the 1993 Northridge earthquake.

The concept and design for the new bridge was conceived by Andrew Leicester, who told the media that he wanted to build a structure that served as a gateway to the San Gabriel Valley. The San Gabriel Mountain foothills have long been an important travel corridor in Southern California, beginning with Native Americans and continuing to the advent of Route 66 and, later, the 210 freeway. Leicester said the 25-foot-tall baskets on the bridge commemorate the main tool Native Americans used in their travels.

Habib Balian, the CEO of the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, said that 92 percent of the materials used to construct the bridge were manufactured in Southern California.

Skanksa USA was the contractor that built the bridge; architecture and engineering was done by AECOM.

The Construction Authority is an independent agency building the line that will be operated by Metro. The project is funded by Measure R, the sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

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