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Downtown Arcadia intersection at Huntington and Second will be closed for Gold Line construction – Pasadena Star-News

Posted by GoldLine

The following article appeared in the Pasadena Star-News on August 6, 2014.

Downtown Arcadia intersection at Huntington and Second will be closed for Gold Line construction – Pasadena Star-News

Construction signs at the intersection of Huntington Drive and Second Ave in Arcadia, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

By Hugo Guzman

August 6, 2014

ARCADIA>> Beginning Friday. officials plan to close the intersection of Huntington Drive and Second Avenue to refurbish an iconic and decades-old railroad bridge over a four-day period.

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension construction crews will work round-the-clock, but won’t immediately complete the work. That will be done during six weeks of night-time closures.

All-day closures will begin on Friday at midnight and end Tuesday at 6 a.m. The next six weeks of night-time closures will begin on that Tuesday night, and will run Sundays through Thursdays, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Far from being angry or upset local business owners said they were excited.

“The bridge has always been an eyesore,” said James Jackson, manager of Helen’s Cycles.

He said the construction work is a welcome sight, and the prospect of worse traffic is a small price to pay.

Employee Scott Sing agreed with him, saying that the Metro might be worth it. “I know a lot of people are waiting for it.”

During the closures, cars and pedestrians trying to cross the intersection will need to follow detours.

This work is part of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project. The project seeks to extend the Metro Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa, along the foothills.

The first phase of construction will install the bridge girders, while Phase Two will install cross beams and deck steel.

After construction of the bridge is complete, communications and other systems will be added. However, these installations are not expected to cause further closures, said Lisa Levy Buch, director of public affairs for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

According to Buch, the project is on-track for completion in September 2015. The extension project has taken four years to complete, and more than $1 billion. The bridge completion will be the final step of construction.

“It’s a pretty big milestone for us, to get this far in the project,” Buch said.

Locals are optimistic.

Connecting Arcadia and downtown Los Angeles was also a big excitement for local resident Sy Rosell. Rosell plans on making use of the Gold Line Extension to travel to Los Angeles.

”There might be a show down there, and I might not want to drive down,” Rosell said.

Matt McSweeny, owner of Matt Denny’s Ale House, is advising his employees on how to adapt to the changes. Many of them live east of the closure, and will have to deal with detours. However, he is confident that the project will help Arcadia, despite the difficulties.

“This is part of the deal,” McSweeny said. “It’s going to be better after this.”

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August 7th, 2014
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Monrovia to make new Gold Line station a community hub – Los Angeles Register

Posted by GoldLine

The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Register on August 5, 2014.

Monrovia to make new Gold Line station a community hub – Los Angeles Register

By America Hernandez

August 5, 2014

MONROVIA – A new community park, outdoor amphitheater and apartment complex built around the upcoming Metro Gold Line Myrtle stop will be open to the public by the end of 2015, in what city officials call the biggest infrastructure project in Monrovia history.

“Station Square will be a hub for community events, outdoor concerts, and a gathering place for commuters to sit, have a bite, and enjoy the space,” said Alexis Bakofsky, Monrovia’s public information officer. “We really want people to step off the train and arrive at a destination.”

The Station Square project, funded by $25 million in grants and outside funding, will break ground Sept. 1 after Monrovia city council awards the construction contract later this month.

The project is broken down into four main parts. As soon as commuters step off the Gold Line at Duarte Road and Myrtle Avenue, they will enter the Transit Plaza, which houses bicycle racks and bus shelters, as well as planted trees for shade.

The plaza feeds directly into a long walkway called the Depot Promenade, which runs along the city’s historic Santa Fe Depot where the railroad used to stop.

The depot itself is closed to the public, but officials hope enough money will be left over from the project to renovate the space and install a cafe or similar offering.

“City Council is passionate about restoration of the depot, which links Monrovia’s transit past to the present, but we won’t know about funding until we get bids from contractors,” Bakofsky said.

The promenade, which features benches and gathering spots along the walkway, will lead to a new neighborhood park at the corner of the intersection.

The planned park, which is a large concrete expanse, will be grassy and feature a children’s playground made of sustainable materials, as well as an outdoor amphitheater and public restrooms.

“We’re working very hard with our community services department to make sure we build infrastructure that will support different types of activities, from yoga to a farmer’s market to outdoor concerts,” said Bakofsky.

In addition to the onsite construction, the project will also involve off-site repairs like freeway beautification, landscaping, and fixing roadways, sidewalks, and medians.

The city also has several properties on sale across the street from Station Square it hopes will be developed into commercial spaces. Residential developer Samuelson and Fetter has already planned a 261-unit apartment complex adjacent to the Metro stop.

Monrovia officials expect construction to be completed by the end of 2015, the same time the Gold Line will be finished and tested by Metro. The Gold Line extension itself will be operational in early 2016. About $25 million in grants and local funding will finance the plan.

“This project is decades in the making,” Bakofsky said of Station Square. “Thanks to a combination of federal and state grants, money from Metro and the Construction Authority, Monrovia will not go out of pocket to fund it.”

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August 6th, 2014
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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Progress continues inside and outside the Main Shop at the Gold Line Operations Campus.

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August 1st, 2014
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Gold Line on schedule, on budget for Azusa extension – Los Angeles Register

Posted by GoldLine

The following article appeared in the Los Angeles Register on July 24, 2014.

Gold Line on schedule, on budget for Azusa extension – Los Angeles Register

Photo by Anibal Ortiz, Los Angeles Register Staff Photographer

By America Hernandez

July 24, 2014

The Pasadena-to-Azusa segment of the Metro Gold Line Foothill extension is working toward completion.

The 11.5-mile extension, which began construction in June 2010, will add six Gold Line stations in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and downtown Azusa, terminating near Azusa Pacific University and Citrus College.

“The construction is happening in layers, and very soon, it will look almost done,” said Lisa Levy Buch, director of public affairs for the Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

“A lot of what’s left involves the overhead system that electrifies the train, and the communication system between stations,” Buch said.

The billion-dollar project will be handed over to Metro for testing and opening in September 2015.

The Metro Gold Line, which began operating in 2003, serves 1.1 million riders every monthtraveling between East Los Angeles and Pasadena, Metro data show. The line proved so popular that Metro added train cars in 2009 and extended hours to 2 a.m. on Saturdays to meet demand, officials said.

Now, cities along the Foothill extension corridor hope the new stations will jump-start business and development in their areas. Most stops are within walking distance of popular destinations, such as the L.A. Arboretum, the Santa Anita racetrack and City of Hope medical center.

Every station will have bicycle spaces, lockers and car parking, and each city has selected artists who are creating custom designs to be used in the terminals.

The construction authority completed a study in 2010 that found 1,200 acres of opportunity sites that could accommodate 3 million square feet of retail space, 7.5 million square feet of office space and room for 17,000 housing units along the project’s corridor.

A second extension, which will reach Montclair in San Bernardino County and may connect to Ontario Airport, will be ready for construction in 2017 and could be finished by 2022 if Metro provides funding.

The project would add stops in Glendora, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont, while San Bernardino funds and builds the last mile of the track to Montclair. The Ontario Airport connection, if approved and funded by that city’s transportation authority, would be completed around 2035.

Nicknamed “the brain train” because of the many colleges within walking distance of each stop, the Azusa-to-Claremont extension will be 12.5 miles long and require an additional $1 billion to build.

It is unclear where the money will come from. Even though the second extension was included in the Measure R transportation tax and given a first priority status for any new funding, Metro has left the project off its 10-year Short Range building plan.

Under current legislation it has no funds set aside for the next 30 years.

The Metro board met Thursday to discuss short- and long-term building plans. The second Foothill extension was not allocated any money, despite letters from local governments, senators and Assembly members.

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July 26th, 2014
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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Roof tile installation is taking place at the Duarte/City of Hope station.

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July 25th, 2014
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In remarks, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti outlines his goals as Metro Board Chair – The Source

Posted by GoldLine

The following article appeared in The Source on July 24, 2014.

In remarks, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti outlines his goals as Metro Board Chair – The Source

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti delivering his remarks on Thursday morning. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

By Steve Hymon

July 24, 2014

As noted earlier, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is the Chair of the Metro Board of Directors for the next year. At the start of today’s Board meeting, Garcetti briefly outlined his goals as Board Chair. Here are some highlights from his comments.

•”When you’re talking about transportation, the top priority has to be reducing traffic.   Traffic, especially in Los Angeles, defines our lives. It keeps us from being with our loved ones and enjoying life’s daily moments. But it’s equally important that we provide good service for our customers and build for the future.

“The only way we can do that well is by working together as a region. We all know that traffic doesn’t care about borders. And none of us can serve our constituents well if we only care about what happens inside our city limits.”

•”How we do that? Innovation and technology. That’s not only the obvious things — like having cell service in our stations or creating an app where riders can load their tap cards on their phones so they don’t have to wait in line at the ticket machine.”

•”We must always be looking at where there is new demand and build projects in our most heavily traveled corridors. We must complete projects like the Exposition line all the way to Santa Monica. We must plan to build the Gold Line extension to Claremont. We must improve service between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside. We must make sure the Blue Line is fixed, and our highest [ridership] rail line runs like it once did. And we must find a way to open the train to the planes by the time the Crenshaw Line starts running.”

•”I’m committed to keeping the momentum going on our construction projects — and making sure they’re done on time and on budget. We cannot repeat the cost overruns and sinkholes of the 1990s.

“When I became Mayor, I was told the new lane on the 405 project wouldn’t be open until the fall. So I called an old friend, Nick Patsaouras, and asked him to volunteer his time and talents to get it done sooner. He came through big for us. As Chair, I am calling on him to now lend his expertise and provide construction oversight of the Crenshaw Line.”

•”Over the last year, we were successful in securing over three billion dollars from the federal government. I’m confident that success will continue if we work together across the region to get our fair share from Washington and Sacramento. But we also need to think creatively about public-private partnerships and innovative financing. People are impatient, people can’t wait.”

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July 24th, 2014
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Ontario Mayor Paul Leon on Importance of Extending the Foothill Gold Line

Posted by GoldLine

The following video originally appeared on Time Warner Cable Local Edition with host Leslie Leyton.

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July 23rd, 2014
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Metro Railcar Assembly Starts in Palmdale – San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Posted by GoldLine

The following article appeared in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal on July 21, 2014.

Metro Railcar Assembly Starts in Palmdale – San Fernando Valley Business Journal

By Mark Madler

July 21, 2014

The first light-rail vehicle from Japanese transit manufacturer Kinki Sharyo Co. Ltd. arrived this month and was delivered to the final assembly plant in Palmdale.

The railcar arrived at the Port of Long Beach on July 16 and then was taken to Palmdale. It is the first of 78 cars ordered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to arrive in the U.S.

Kinkisharyo International LCC, the U.S. arm of Kinki Sharyo Co., in Osaka, will do the final assembly and testing of the car, which is scheduled to be delivered to Metro in October.

The company is leasing space from Los Angeles World Airports for the railcar assembly and testing, with plans to begin construction of a $50 million plant in Palmdale in early 2016.

The railcars will be used to support the Expo and Gold Line extensions.

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July 22nd, 2014
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Rail in Arcadia circa 1938

Posted by GoldLine

The following photo history was provided by longtime San Gabriel Valley resident and railfan Bob Davis.

One of my railfan buddies sent this photo from 1938  (yes, it’s older than me).  This was taken in Arcadia and shows the Santa Fe LA to San Bernardino local, which I remember as Train 42.   It has just crossed First Ave.  and will probably cross Huntington Dr., since this was (I think) before the overpass was built.  In the distance the Arcadia Tower is barely visible–it controlled the crossing of the PE Monrovia-Glendora Line with ATSF.  It also controlled the lightly used SP Duarte Branch, which in 1938 started in Alhambra, came through San Gabriel and Arcadia, and paralleled the PE to Duarte.  It was later tied into the PE line and the western part was abandoned; the Duarte end was cut back to Monrovia and served the Day & Night water heater plant.

Back around 1945, my parents took my brother and me into Los Angeles Union Station on the PE and we returned on #42.  We lived in Monrovia, but at Arcadia the PE and ATSF stations were less than a block apart.  #42 was usually powered by a high-wheeled 4-4-2  “Atlantic” type locomotive–couldn’t pull very many cars, but would get out of town in a hurry.  Typical train had a Railway Post Office car, an express car and an old coach for the few passengers who might want to ride.

Around 1949, steam gave way to diesel, and not long after that, the run was taken over by a self-contained motor car, sometimes called a “doodlebug” or “skunk car”.  Sometime in the mid-1950s, the train was discontinued as roads improved and trucks were more widely used to haul the mail.

Now we look forward to new trains serving my old home town, with more in an hour or two than Santa Fe ran all day.

Bob Davis

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July 22nd, 2014
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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Three Engelmann Oaks (a rare and endangered oak native to the area Foothills), along with 18 other types of plants are being planted now in the transit plaza adjacent to the Arcadia station.

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July 21st, 2014
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