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More than 100 Attend Gold Line’s 10 Year Celebration

Posted by GoldLine

More than 100 elected officials, project and community stakeholders, and members of the media gathered today at the Metro Gold Line Del Mar Station in Pasadena to celebrate 10 years of operations for the Gold Line light rail line between Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Thank you to all who joined us this morning, as well as the 1 million plus monthly riders who make the Gold Line a success.

View a photo gallery of the event on our facebook page www.facebook.com/iwillride.

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City officials want updated information on Gold Line transportation plan – Claremont Courier

Posted by GoldLine

The following article originally appeared in the Claremont Courier website on June 20, 2013.

City officials want updated information on Gold Line transportation plan

By Beth Hartnett |  June 20, 2013

Claremont officials are calling out the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for lack of transparency as the MTA board prepares to approve changes to a multi-million dollar expenditure plan, which includes the expansion of the Gold Line light rail.

This Thursday, June 27, the board will consider amending the expenditure plan approved by voters in 2008 as part of the Measure R Traffic Relief and Rail Expansion. Measure R imposed a half-cent sales tax increase in order to fund critical highway and transportation projects throughout the county, including the Gold Line.

The current expenditure plan details transportation projects throughout the county over the next couple decades. The board would like to accelerate the plan by an average of 10 years. While accelerating the plan sounds good in theory, the board’s proposed plan does not accurately reflect how this will be accomplished, Claremont officials say.

“The proposed plan is incomplete in some cases, and incorrect in others,” Mayor Opanyi Nasiali wrote in a statement on behalf of the city of Claremont.

“The expenditure plan was put together in 2008, and since that time extensive study has been conducted on many of the transit projects,” Mr. Nasiali continued. “Regrettably, the proposed amendment does not provide information about the additional cost associated with accelerating selected projects.”

The proposed plan lists the cost estimate of an I-405 connector project as “To Be Announced” while Metro’s financial plan identifies it as $2.5 billion, Mr. Nasiali noted. The price point for the West Santa Ana Branch Project, connecting Orange County to Los Angeles via a railway, is also listed as pending though its been previously identified as an estimated $605 million endeavor.

Mr. Nasiali calls for actual cost estimates to be provided for both projects, and for the dollar amount of Measure R funds to be identified for each project, before approval of the plan.

Sam Pedroza, Claremont council member and first vice chair of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority board, noted that the plan does not accurately reflect the actual cost of the Foothill Extension Project. The expenditure plan lists the project as a $758 million venture.

However, Mr. Pedroza pointed out that the actual current estimate is $1.71 billion, reflected in an update to the expenditure plan first discussed in 2012 and approved by the Foothill board this past April. While MTA officials say there is no more money left than the $758 million already allotted for the Foothill Extension through Azusa, Mr. Pedroza says it isn’t about receiving more Measure R money, but having the expenditure plan accurately reflect the funding gap that needs to be filled in some way.

“We aren’t asking for more Measure R dollars. We are just asking to be properly identified on the expenditure plan so we can say, ‘We have an 800 million funding gap, we need to go out and help find funds and Metro, you need to help us.’”

Other eastern Los Angeles County cities are joining in on the plea to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. Glendora, San Dimas and Pomona have also written to Metro, asking them to update the expenditure plan before moving forward with any Measure R changes. Mr. Pedroza hopes others will follow suit.

“It’s a governance issue,” Mr. Pedroza said. “[This proposed plan] is misleading and not transparent. It’s not telling the real story.”

Metro and Supervisor Michael Antonovich, chairman of the Metro board of directors, declined comment on the matter until the board meeting on June 27.

The public is invited to sit in on the Metro board’s review, which takes place at 9 a.m. in the Metro Boardroom, located at One Gateway Plaza in Los Angeles. Those unable to attend the meeting may send written comments through Thursday, June 27. Letters must be addressed to Board Administration, Metro, One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop 99-3-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952.

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Metro officials show off Gold Line extension progress – Pasadena Star-News

Posted by GoldLine

The following images are part of an article originally posted on the Pasadena Star-News website on June 15, 2013.  Read the full article here.

Metro officials show off Gold Line extension progress

By Libby Rainey

Habib Balian, CEO of Metro Gold Line with model of what the Gold Line Operations Campus will look like Thursday, June 13, 2013. (SGVN/Staff photo by Walt Mancini)

Construction workers put the finishing touches on a cover for a section of the retaining wall Thursday, June 13, 2013. (SGVN/Staff photo by Walt Mancini)

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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Crews install two light rail tracks in Azusa

Crews install two light rail tracks in Azusa.

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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Construction Authority CEO, Habib F. Balian leads a tour of the 24-acre, $265 million Gold line Operations Campus for Metro Deputy CEO Paul Taylor and other Metro lead staff on Friday. The facility is now 30% complete.

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Monrovia Gold Line station artwork to honor town’s architectural history with Craftsman tiles – Pasadena Star-News

Posted by GoldLine

The following article originally appeared in the Pasadena Star-News website on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian visit Friday, May 24, 2013 the Pasadena studio of artist Cha-Rie Tang to view elements of the artist´s works being developed for installation at the future Monrovia Gold Line Station. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

Monrovia Gold Line station artwork to honor town’s architectural history with Craftsman tiles
By Brenda Gazzar, Staff Writer

Gallery: Artist Cha-Rie Tang’s work for the future Monrovia Gold Line Station

PASADENA — Artist Cha-Rie Tang’s passion and deft hands in making Craftsman tiles is evident on a recent tour of her Pasadena studio, where she’s been consumed with creating the elaborate artwork for the future Monrovia Gold Line station on the Pasadena-to-Azusa foothill extension.

The concept of the Monrovia station’s artwork, dubbed River of Time, aims to celebrate “man in harmony with nature” and draws on both the elements of nature and architectural features that are prominent in the small but proud foothill city.

“I wanted to tie together Monrovia’s love of Batchelder tiles, architectural history and their love of nature,” Tang, an architect and MIT graduate, said during a studio tour Friday that she gave to Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and officials from the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.

Ernest Batchelder, who once directed the department of arts and crafts at Throop Poly-technic in Pasadena, was an Arts and Crafts master tile maker whose unique decorative style emerged in the 1920s during the Craftsman movement, which was popular in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley area. Some of the tiles Tang is using were cast from original Batchelder molds but most were impressions taken from original Batchelder tiles, including floral and animal motifs native to the region.

“I’m glad to have a chance to gather so many Batchelder tiles together,” Tang said. “I believe this is the largest collection of Batchelder designs in a public art project.”

Tang’s artwork for the station will include a 7-foot high sculptural rock carved by nature that is intended to signify a mountain and will be placed near the north side of the platform and surrounded by a pool of glass bricks she is making, which are meant to symbolize ripples of water. The work will also include watercolor field tiles that will flank the station’s pedestrian entrance ramp as well as a “treasure trove” of Craftsman tiles – many of which were reproductions of tiles gathered from fireplaces, kitchens and bathrooms of community members – that will be set on column bases on the station’s platform.

“I think (community members) are just going to be in awe of it,” Mayor Lutz said, noting how excited she was to see the station’s artwork come together after seeing a rendering several years ago. “I think people will stop and stare and look at it and enjoy it; they’re not just going to walk through. They’ll want to be a part of it for a while. ”

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz and Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian visit Friday, May 24, 2013 the Pasadena studio of artist Cha-Rie Tang to view elements of the artist´s works being developed for installation at the future Monrovia Gold Line Station. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz)

Lutz said she was particularly excited about how the artwork reflects the city of Monrovia’s history by connecting with the community’s love of Batchelder tiles as well as its love of nature. As for the large sculptural rock imported from southern China, “that rock is just amazing,” she said. “I only wish it came from our canyon but you get it where you get it but everything else is so true to our community. ”

While Tang has been making Craftsman-style relief tiles for about two decades, the first 10 years she was doing so in secret, she said, “because I wasn’t quite sure about using Batchelder designs” and she wanted to wait to get approval from Batchelder’s heirs, she said. Tang said she has been working on the project for about seven years, even though she didn’t get the contract with the design-builder Kiewit Parsons until earlier this year.

The total budget for the artwork’s fabrication and delivery is $143,000 plus another $15,000 for design, said Lesley Elwood, public art program manager for the Gold Line Construction Authority.

Under Elwood’s supervision, each city with a stop along the foothill extension had a public art committee that interviewed the artists and then narrowed down the concepts they wanted at their station, the authority’s CEO, Habib Balian, said.

“It’s just so different for public art to see this kind of quality that’s not just out there it’s indigenous to the area,” he said, noting that each station along the route is unique.

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Foothill Extension Construction Authority approves routes for Gold Line from Azusa to Montclair; project still needs funding – The Source

Posted by GoldLine

The following blog post originally appeared on The Source on March 7, 2013.


Foothill Extension Construction Authority approves routes for Gold Line from Azusa to Montclair; project still needs funding

By Steve Hymon

The Board of the Construction Authority on Wednesday approved the route, which covers 12.3 miles along an existing rail corridor from Glendora to Montclair with stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair.

The Gold Line is currently being extended from eastern Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border — that part of the project is being paid for by the Measure R sales tax increase approved by L.A. County voters in 2008. This is the second phase of that project, which is in Metro’s long-range plan. As the news release notes, funding will need to be found in order to build this part of the project.

It’s an intriguing project. If completed, the Gold Line could eventually run all the way from Montclair to downtown Los Angeles and then to Long Beach via the Regional Connector project (not to mention the other leg of the Gold Line from Union Station to East L.A. and eventually either South El Monte or Whittier). The trip from Montclair to Old Town Pasadena is estimated to take about 40 minutes — it would an alternative to the increasingly congested 210 freeway — and from Montclair to downtown Los Angeles about 64 to 70 minutes depending on the station in downtown.

Here’s the final environmental study for the project. And below is the news release from the Foothill Extension Construction Authority, the independent agency that is planning and will build the project:

MONROVIA, CA – At their meeting last night, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) board of directors approved the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project from Azusa to Montclair. The 12.3-mile light rail extension includes future stations in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair; as well as two new grade-separated crossings (at Lone Hill in Glendora and Towne Avenue in Pomona).  Continue reading.

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Don’t Give Up on Gold Line to Montclair and Ontario Airport – Curbed LA

Posted by GoldLine

This post originally appeared in the Curbed LA Blog on March 4, 2013.

Don’t Give Up on Gold Line to Montclair and Ontario Airport

Monday, March 4, 2013, by Neal Broverman

Even though Metro starved the Gold Line extension to Montclair by giving other transit projects higher priority (i.e., money), hope isn’t lost. Members of the Gold Line Construction Authority–which is currently extending the light rail from Pasadena to Azusa–recently traveled to DC and lobbied Congressfolk and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for money or bonds for the project, which would stretch the Gold Line even further east (and allow for a one-seat train ride from Santa Monica Long Beach to Montclair when the Regional Connector is built). Glendora city councilmember and GLCA board member Doug Tessitor is also lobbying for money to get the ball rolling on connecting the train to Ontario Airport, reports the Glendora Patch: “Hopefully we’ll find roughly a million-and-a-half dollars to provide some studies and alignment and route selection out of the San Bernardino area to the Ontario airport,” he says.

While the Expo Line extension appears to be moving more quickly than the Gold Line extension, the latter project is still on track to open in just two years–even though just one of 24 needed bridges has been completed. But “Ground has been broken on the first at-grade crossing at Highland Avenue in Duarte and Dalton Avenue in Azusa” as well, and “Work is in progress on the Duarte station and the Operations Campus.”

The construction authority recently awarded the final contract for the Azusa extension–they hired Webcor to build parking facilities and other enhancements. [Image of construction in Duarte via I Will Ride's Facebook page]

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Construction Update, Picture of the Week and Closure Reminder

Posted by GoldLine

FTC crews move forward with third party utility relocation near the future Azusa-Alameda Gold Line station.

REMINDER: Foothill Blvd (between Vernon Ave and Orange Ave) will be closed in both directions on Friday, January 18 from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. For more details on this and other construction alerts please click here.

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Construction Update and Picture of the Week

Posted by GoldLine

Work at the Gold Line Operations Campus continues as FTC crews install shoring columns for the facility’s north retaining wall.

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