The following article appeared in the Wednesday, January 30, 2013 print edition of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
Azusa officials get preview of Gold Line Foothill Extension work – SGV Tribune
Azusa mayor Joseph Rocha, left, listens as Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, Chief Executive officer, Habib Balian, center and Foothill Transit Constructors, Segment manager Jim Holmes talks about the station during a tour by the Metro Gold Line Construction Authority at the Northeast corner of Foothill Blvd. and Citrus Ave. Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 in Azusa, Calif. (SGVN/Staff photo by Keith Birmingham)
By Melissa Masatani, Staff Writer
GLENDORA — Officials from the city of Azusa, Foothill Transit Constructors and the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension toured the site of the Gold Line’s future Citrus Station on Tuesday, getting a preview of what the city can expect as construction begins.
Work has started on segment four, the section of track that will run from the Miller Brewery to Barranca Avenue along the freight line, said Jim Holmes, segment foremanager for Foothill Transit Constructors. Crews have been working out of the community’s sight for some time, he said, clearing the brush along the rail path, building drainage and making sure the ground is level.
“Because of the freight that conflicts where the station is, (the stations will) start a little bit later,” Holmes said.
Azusa will have two Gold Line stations when service begins, one at Foothill Boulevard and Citrus Avenue adjacent to Citrus College, and one at Alameda next to the city’s civic center. Work on the Alameda station will force the full closure of Alameda, Holmes said.
Work on the first grade crossing at Dalton Avenue will begin next month, with a full closure of Dalton beginning Feb. 18.
“For all of these major activities we develop an outreach plan, which is approved by the (Foothill Extension) Authority as well as the city of Azusa before we even start,” said Dan Kulka, community relations manager for the Foothill Transit Constructors.
Fliers with information about noise impacts and road closures were distributed to community centers around Azusa as well as hand-delivered to residential neighbors, Kulka said. The website, foothillextension.org, allows community members to sign up for email and text alerts about closures and roadwork that affects the public.
There is also a hotline, 626-324-7098, and an office for the community to visit if they have any questions, 1300 W. Optical Drive, Suite 500, in Azusa.
“Our construction has been well received by the community and I think part of the reason is because the Authority has been working for years to pave the way for us,” Kulka said. “People know we’re coming, they are excited about the train.”
Maintaining a good relationship with the neighbors is key for Holmes, the construction foremanager. The workers at the construction site undergo training to avoid spills and mitigate the impact on the environment.
“Students from APU and Citrus said, `build it and we will ride it,’ and that’s what I hear all over town,” said Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha.