Progress report for Gold Line Foothill Extension

The site of the new operations campus in Monrovia. Photo: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

The site of the new operations campus in Monrovia. Photo: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Habib Balian, the CEO of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, has sent the update below to those following the project, which will extend the Gold Line for 11.5 miles from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border:

Anyone that lives, works or drives by the Foothill Extension corridor is well aware that the project is underway – construction is everywhere. The at-grade crossings are being completed at a fast pace (two more are scheduled to re-open in the next week), station platforms are now visible in Arcadia, Monrovia and Duarte (and will start soon in Irwindale and Azusa), and the freight track is on schedule to be fully realigned between the San Gabriel River in Irwindale and the Azusa/Glendora border at the end of the year.

The two dozen structures being built or modified for the project are also progressing well. As you can see from the photo on the left below, the new Santa Anita Ave Bridge abutments are nearing completion on both sides of the street; a third pier will be constructed soon in the center island and then girders will be installed. The new abutments are uniquely designed to fit within the community, matching the art-deco style that exists along the corridor in the city of Arcadia.


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At the Operations Campus, crews are preparing to install six miles of track and overhead electrical wires needed within the 24-acre facility. Foundations for more than half of the 213 OCS poles have been poured. Their locations are identified by flags in the photo on the right:

Finally, in case you missed it, the Pasadena Star News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune ran the Editorial below [please click here to read] highlighting the land use changes occurring along the Foothill Extension corridor in anticipation of the Gold Line’s arrival. The Rosedale development in Azusa is their main example, but development planned in Monrovia is also cited. Rosedale, the master-planned community that went bankrupt partway through construction several years ago, is now under new ownership, rejuvenated and well underway to completion. The Gold Line is a big selling point for the buyers, according to our discussions with their team, and the future APU/Citrus College station on the development’s southeast corner is a highly anticipated amenity offered by this new community.

The editorial also highlights the paper’s continuing commitment to keeping pressure on Metro to complete the entire project, to Claremont. Here is how the Editorial ends: “If only the unfairly Los Angeles-oriented Metro board would extend the Gold Line to Claremont, as county voters approved, the San Gabriel Valley could really be going somewhere.”

The Journey Continues,

Habib F. Balian

Editorial note from yours truly: In 2008 county voters approved Measure R, which provided $735 million for the Foothill Extension project. That gets it to Azusa. The portion of the line to Claremont remains unfunded at this time.

13 replies

  1. Erik, Montclair is supposed to be that station for the Gold Line, with APU/Citrus College temporary (and I suspect the college will be happy to sell parking at $5 a pop to anyone who wants to use their lot as a park and ride). Montclair has 1600 parking spaces, of which a couple hundred may be impacted, but should accommodate all parking demand from the east.

  2. Funny how the voters in the SGV didn’t go to strong on Props R & J, but the City Governments all did. This is the only line without major legal hurdles. Yes, the yard in Monrovia is really needed for system expansion as well. The smaller yard downtown is still in a good location as it can add or subtract cars in and out of trains at LAUS in all directions once the Regional Connector is finished. Also, I my opinion, I think it could also support the northern end of the WestSanta Branch project once it gets to LAUS.

  3. “A key part of the Expo Line Phase 2 project is a new rail car maintenance facility in Santa Monica, located east of Stewart Street and north of Exposition Boulevard.”

  4. @mike,

    The new rail yard is something that MTA wants/needs. MTA wouldn’t have approved the Foothill Extension without it. Maybe the rail yard in Chinatown is too small… I don’t know.

  5. Why are they building a second(new) rail yard for the Gold Line? As far as I know the Expo line doesn’t even have it’s own yard.

  6. A disturbing aspect of both 2A&2B is the apparent lack of accommodation for the Park and Ride market that may very well materialize and would overwhelm the apparent TOD-only design of most of the stations.
    Why there isn’t a proposal for a Quincy Adams type station where the line crosses both the 57 and the 210 on the Glendora/San Dimas border area is baffling.

  7. @Dana,

    I agree. But I think that Metro needs to recognize that Gold Line to Claremont is a part of its transportation plan, so funding can be secured for the project in the future.

  8. I have to think the price the folks supporting the extension to Claremont will have to agree to if they want to secure funding is backing the Regional Connector and Purple Line extension when Measure R extension is attempted again in a few years. And this actually would benefit the Gold Line’s ridership as it would now be feeding into an urban rail network that serves key destinations with a lot less hopping on and off as we have with the existing system with light rail lines serving opposite ends of downtown L.A. only linked via riding the subway from 7th/Metro to Union Station. A countywide integrated rail grid will have results that justify the Gold Line extension.

  9. @Henry,

    Speaking of parking…

    I can’t believe the APU-Citrus Station will only have about 300 parking spaces. It’s going to be the terminus for quite a while (or forever), so APU-Citrus’ lot will be packed all day with all the cars from neighboring cities (Glendora, Covina, San Dimas, and further east into SB County).

    If Sierra Madre Villa can have 950+ spaces and it’s consistently full, why does APU-Citrus only have 1/3 of the amount?

    I guess a parking diet can “force” some of the riders to take the bus, but then Foothill Transit will REALLY have to step up its game. Even FT’s busiest line (Line 187) comes every 20 minutes… ridiculous.

  10. The Gold Line can’t come fast enough, but I don’t think a push to extend it to Claremont is viable until after Azusa is completed. In 2018 or 2020, when the APU/Citrus and Downtown Azusa station parking lots are full and buses headed in and out are packed, then there will be the popular demand to extend the line to Montclair.