Gold Line Foothill Extension update: concrete pours for another big bridge and grade crossings almost half complete!

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More good news for the Gold Line Foothill Extension project, which is adding 11.5 miles to the Gold Line between eastern Pasadena and the Azusa/Glendora border with six new stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and two in Azusa.

Here’s the latest update from Habib Balian, CEO of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the agency building the line:

Over the last several months, the Pasadena to Azusa project has hit its full stride as our contractors continue to achieve important milestones everywhere along the 11.5-mile alignment. Nearly half of the at-grade crossings for the project are now complete, with six more currently under construction. The community impacted at each of these crossings and subsequent closures have so far been supportive and understanding so that our work can be completed in the least amount of time possible; for that we are grateful.

Earlier this week, the last concrete pour was completed for the 700-foot-long San Gabriel River Bridge. It was critical that all structural work using the river bed be complete by October, in time for the rainy season; and FTC is on schedule to achieve that goal.

FTC is also making great strides in completing the realignment of the nearly four miles of freight track between the San Gabriel River Bridge and the Glendora city boundary. This work had to be completed without interrupting freight service into the San Gabriel Valley. All work is now complete on the eastern portion of the shared corridor – between San Gabriel Avenue in Azusa and the Glendora boundary. All at-grade crossing improvements within this section of the project are now complete, as well as three new freight bridges. Work continues on the realignment west of San Gabriel Ave.

At the Operations Campus, crews are nearly ready to start laying the six miles of track that will be installed within the $265 million facility. As of today, more than half of the 213 OCS pole foundations are drilled and poured, and the Maintenance of Way storage structure is nearly complete.


Photos: Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

18 replies

  1. xsaucex, Maybe the City of LA should vote on a special transit tax so it could fund more rails for itself.

  2. pobaza,

    Give it time. The most vocal of those opposition groups are the aging Baby Boomer generation who control most of the wealth and political votes. They know no other way of living other than the automobile-centric life they messed up LA to be. But, their numbers are decreasing as father time catches up to them.

    Come 2020, the Gen Xers and the millennial generation will gain strength in numbers as the growing majority in LA. We could care less about boo-hoo sob stories about “it’s gonna cause more traffic” that the Baby Boomer NIMBYs like to use that stalls all kind of high transit development.

  3. The Foothill Extension is also good way to test out TOD. There are quite a few TOD being built around the upcoming stations… and there will be more and more development to come in the future after the extension becomes operational.

    The cities in along the line all seem to understand the economical potential of having a light rail, and that’s why their political representatives (even the conservative, right-leaning guys) all have fought so hard for it.

    Instead of trying to cram expensive rail in areas that are already fully urbanized and developed, we get to do a bit of the opposite for a change and see how that will work.

  4. Once the Expo, Gold and Crenshaw Lines are complete, the priority should NOT be to add additional lines, but to begin a program of grade separation construction based upon accident/cross-traffic congestion/transit speed considerations. The goal should be eventual total grade separation for all lines, greatly adding to the efficiency, capacity and safety of the system.

  5. We can all lament how much areas like West Hollywood, West L.A., and the beach communities deserve rapid transit, but face facts: those areas are far more expensive, complicated, and messy to deal with today. Then there’s active opposition – look at what’s happening with the Purple and Crenshaw lines. I’m not saying we should leave those areas without rail because a minority of people (and they are) do not want it, but that plays a factor as well.

    Meanwhile, the Gold Line Foothill extension is fully funded, far less expensive, and has near-universal support among the local communities. It may not boast the density, attractions, and destinations like the areas I mentioned above, but it’s still a worthwhile project that will benefit L.A. as a whole, as well as the areas it serves.

  6. Steve! this is the second time you call Huntington Dr. by the name Huntington Blvd.

    good to see work coming along, will the bridge over huntington dr. be doubled or removed and a two track bridge put in it’s place?

  7. xsaucex,

    It’s not meant for people to travel to Azusa, it’s meant for Azusa residents to use the train to commute into Downtown LA and anywhere the Gold Line serves.

    But I do agree with you that LA Metro should be focusing it’s priorities on making mass transit more available in the urban core of LA County where people are more likely to be commuting with cars cars because there are no reliable mass transit options available.

    There is an entire gap of Metro Rail coverage missing along the North-South route along the westside where traffic is terrible and that is where it should be prioritized. There has to be a mass transit alternative to the 405.

  8. A second Gold Line Yard yet the Expo Line has none.

    Where is Henry Huntington when we need him. It took his crews six months to build, double tracked, the P. E. Long Beach Line back in the early 1900’s. What was it, three years, for the LACTC to build over the same Right of Way. Progress has taken a monumental step backwards when re-building our mass transit system.

  9. Cars stuck on slow freeways. Buses stuck on slow streets.
    Light rail or metro link, quick, consistent service.
    Easy choice. And 2 different types of service- light rail is more local and Metrolink is a longer more express type service with much higher fars. And yes, everyone pays the taxes and thus the whole county deserves service. While groups/cities fight the Purple line, Crenshaw , Expo and even the Green to the SBay, the SGV was the only area with almost universal support. Thus this is why they are upset that the segment from Azusa to Claremont cut back/delayed.

  10. xsaucex,

    The new Azusa terminus will be Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University, so I think just that terminus station alone will get quite a few riders.

    All the new stations have their own attractions and intended purposes, so maybe you should do some research on that before you lament about stucco megamall purgatory or whatever.

    It should take about 45 minutes to ride from Azusa to Union Station, which is less than from Long Beach (Blue Line) and about the same as from Santa Monica (Expo II). So it’s on par with other comparable lines “terminus to terminus.”

    There is already a Metrolink line to Union Station in the general region (SB Line), but that Metrolink line doesn’t serve the more northern cities like Irwindale, Monrovia, Arcadia, which the Foothill Extension will serve.

  11. Azusa has APU and Citrus College and is the gateway to the San Gabriel Mountains. I could see a lot of people using Azusa as a jumping off point to carpools and shuttles up for hiking – it works great for that. Duarte has the City of Hope, a world renowned cancer treatment institution. Although the Arcadia station is a bit of a hike from the Santa Anita Racetrack, soon to be the LA area’s only regular horse racing track, it is not that far of a walk especially on a nice day. Don’t write off the San Gabriel Valley as some sort of wasteland.

  12. I’m not saying a car friendly neighborhood isn’t deserving of metro rail, I just think it’s a huge waste to expand rail service into the suburbs before building up the urbanized core, which has pretty pathetic coverage. Call it conjecture, but I don’t suspect many people will be stoked to ride the gold line out to Azusa aside from those who live in the area.

    Plus, light rail ain’t exactly the quickest method of travel, if anything they should be getting Metrolink. How long is it going to be from terminus to terminus? Great, I will be able to ride Metro to a megamall in some stucco purgatory but the city’s numerous vibrant commercial corridors are reliant on glacially slow buses

  13. i’m a huge transit booster, but this is useless. These are car reliant middle class suburbs who’s ridership will be pretty low. This money should be allocated to a new line in central LA.
    For example, the portion of Venice Blvd with a massive median that’s basically a highway (4+ lanes I think) would be so much better. Take it from the beach to the Rimpau Transit Center

    Is light rail in the sticks really going to improve LA?

    • Hi X;

      I disagree.

      Pasadena and other parts of L.A. remain very car-friendly — and yet rail transit is working there.

      All residents of L.A. County are paying the Measure R half-cent sales tax increase and, therefore, I think it’s best to spread the transit projects out accordingly (within reason, of course).

      I think the Foothill Extension corridor has several things going for it. Traffic on the 210 freeway and Huntington Boulevard is tough, especially at rush hour (the 210 is Santa Monica Freeway-like). Parking is limited at the present Gold Line and the train will provide a fairly quick ride to Pasadena and DTLA for those boarding at new stations.

      The Foothill Extension project, to its great credit, is also being built a very reasonable cost compared to other Metro projects. Improving transit in the 210 corridor makes sense and the cost of building the project now is almost certainly much less expensive than waiting 20 or 30 years.

      I agree that Venice Boulevard is ripe for transit improvements, although the 733 moves at a decent clip when traffic isn’t terrible. Talk to your elected officials in the city of L.A. about it!

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  14. Good news indeed. Is there going to be another extension of the Gold LIne? How far out is MTA planning to take it to the final destination?

    • Hi Rick;

      At this point, the environmental studies for phase 2B from Azusa to Montclair have been completed. The project is in Metro’s long-range plan but there isn’t enough funding at present to build it.

      So, stay tuned. There is obviously a lot of support in the SGV for the project but there is also limited dollars for the many transit projects in the works around the county.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source