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.”