While out of town over the weekend, I missed the public debut of the new Gold Line Bridge over the eastbound lanes of the 210 freeway in Arcadia. The 584-foot bridge will carry the Gold Line Foothill Extension between Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border.
Here is the news release issed bout the event by the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the line:
Largest Single, Public Art/Transit Infrastructure Project in California Completed
Landmark Gold Line Bridge Features Distinctive Design by Award-winning Public Artist Andrew Leicester
MONROVIA, Calif.— The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) marked the completion of the landmark Gold Line Bridge by giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk across the largest, single public art/transit infrastructure project in California, the 584-linear foot sculpture that will serve as the Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley.
The Gold Line Bridge spans the eastbound lanes of the I-210 freeway northeast of Los Angeles and is the most visible element of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project the Construction Authority is building between Pasadena and Azusa.
The Construction Authority completed the first ever artist-designed transit bridge in California, on time and on budget; and celebrated this milestone with a Dec. 15 ceremony honoring the men and women who designed and built the bridge. During the event, the more than 350 guests were given an opportunity to walk across the bridge before the tracks are laid.
“The bridge is absolutely beautiful, ” commented U.S. Representative Grace Napolitano during the Completion Ceremony on Saturday. “I really have to thank the Construction Authority because they decided to make this a significant work of art. I believe this will be an icon of the San Gabriel Valley.”
Designed by award-winning artist Andrew Leicester, the Gold Line Bridge is anchored by two, 25-foot ‘baskets’ that pay tribute to the indigenous peoples of the San Gabriel Valley and the oversize iconic roadside traditions of nearby Route 66. The distinctive bridge has a serpentine main underbelly featuring casted grooves and hatch marks that simulate the patterns found on the Western Diamondback snake, metaphorically referencing the spine of the transit system.
“The Construction Authority is proud to have created a functional piece of art that will inspire travelers and commuters for generations to come,” said Doug Tessitor, Construction Authority board chair and Glendora council member. “The Gold Line Bridge is representative of the rich and proud heritage of our region, and it will serve as a landmark for the San Gabriel Valley.”
The project is the first to incorporate such intricate design, structural and architectural elements into transit infrastructure. The Construction Authority re-imagined the design process for the dual-track bridge, making it possible for the art to lead the design and engineering. This groundbreaking collaboration resulted in the creation of a sculptural light rail bridge built for the same cost ($18.6 million) as was originally estimated for a typical light rail structure.
The Construction Authority brought the artist on early to lead the design process, before the design-build team was selected – the first time such an approach has been used on a Caltrans infrastructure project. In 2009, the agency issued a national call for artists. A committee of community stakeholders then selected Leicester from a group of 15 highly qualified public artists. Leicester spent several months developing design concepts for the bridge in advance of the architects, engineers and builders beginning their work.
As the design concept adviser, Leicester worked alongside Los Angeles-based design consultant, AECOM, and the bridge’s builder, Skanska USA, to ensure the final design and construction were true to the overall vision.
“Ninety-two percent of the materials and products used on the bridge were from local sources,” commented U.S. Representative Judy Chu, during her remarks at the ceremony. “That meant jobs for the area, and we are very pleased that the leaders of this project saw that this whole region could be involved and benefit from its construction.”
About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension 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. 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 Gold Line Bridge. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates that nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output will be generated during construction of the Pasadena to Azusa segment alone. That segment is on schedule to be completed in late 2015. For more information, visit: www.foothillextension.org.