The Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority held held an event Wednesday in Claremont to announce the start of further planning and conceptual for the Azusa-to-Montclair phase of the project.
An 11.5-mile extension of the Gold Line between eastern Pasadena and Azusa is currently under construction with Metro forecasting an opening in early 2016. An extension beyond Azusa is in Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan but is not funded at this time. The Metro Board earlier this year, however, did approve a concept that allows for up to $36 million of Measure R funding (Measure R is funding the Pasadena-to-Azusa segment plus a new rail yard in Monrovia) to be used for planning, engineering and environmental work for the segment beyond Azusa.
Here is the news release from the Construction Authority, the independent agency building and planning the Foothill Extension:
CONSTRUCTION AUTHORITY KICKS-OFF ENGINEERING PHASE OF
METRO GOLD LINE LIGHT RAIL LINE FROM AZUSA TO MONTCLAIR
Local, State and Federal Officials Attend Meeting to Learn What to Expect Over Next Two Years of Design/Engineering
CLAREMONT, CA – Today, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) hosted a kick-off meeting for the much-anticipated Azusa to Montclair segment of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail line. The 12.3-mile project will extend light rail service from the current terminus under construction in the city of Azusa, to the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair.
“This is an important time for the project,” stated Construction Authority CEO, Habib F. Balian. “Over the next two years, we will take this project from a less than 10% design understanding to a point where we will be ready for a design-build procurement. This will be a period of hard work for the Construction Authority and our partner cities, but it will definitely pay off as we ready the project for construction.”
Presenting to a capacity-filled room of federal, state and local officials, station artists, and key stakeholders, a panel of four speakers provided details on the next steps in the process to advance engineering and station art for the project. The panel – consisting of Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian, Chief Project Officer Chris Burner, Station Environment Coordinator Tanya Patsaouras, and Public Art Program Manager Lesley Elwood – provided the attendees updates on the latest station design criteria, choices cities will have regarding station colors and materials, the schedule for advanced conceptual engineering and station art development, and much more.
A Locally Preferred Alternative was selected earlier this year by the Construction Authority board of directors, following environmental review and clearance of the project under the California Environmental Policy Act (CEQA). Since that time, the Construction Authority has developed the scope of work to advance the necessary design, engineering and station art planning. The agency is set to begin the advanced conceptual engineering early next year.
“We want the cities to understand what they can expect during this next phase of work for the project,” explained Balian. “We want them to start envisioning what their station could look like, as well as what they can be doing now to plant the seeds for future land development and connectivity to local points of interest from their future stations. It all starts now.”
About the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension – The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension is a $1.7 billion, 24-mile extension of the Metro Gold Line light rail system, being overseen by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature. The project is planned in two segments – Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair. The Pasadena to Azusa segment is fully funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R and is on schedule to be completed in September 2015, when it will be turned over to Metro for testing and pre-revenue service. Measure R is funding the majority of cost for advanced conceptual engineering and environmental work necessary for the Azusa to Montclair segment (San Bernardino County will fund their portion of the work). Construction funding has not been identified for the Azusa to Montclair project. The Construction Authority is working with Metro to seek the nearly $1 billion needed complete the Foothill Extension to Montclair.