This has been a milestone year for the Construction Authority, the San Gabriel Valley corridor cities and stakeholders who have been outspoken supporters of the Foothill Gold Line for more than a decade.
2015 culminated with more than 4,000 residents and elected officials helping to celebrate the on-time, on-budget completion of the Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa. The celebrations followed a year filled with activity, including thousands of safe work hours by our contractors, successful testing of the line, and installation of one-of-a-kind artwork at the six new stations. The project’s success was the result of an unprecedented partnership between the Construction Authority, Los Angeles County Metro, three design-build teams, five corridor cities, elected officials at all levels, and others – all of whom now eagerly anticipate revenue operations beginning on March 5, 2016.
As Los Angeles County Metro prepares to begin passenger service to Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa, the Construction Authority is focused on making the 12.3-mile Glendora to Montclair segment ready to break ground.
Memorandums of Understanding with the six corridor cities have been put in place over this past year, allowing design and engineering work to begin in earnest; and the Construction Authority is on schedule to issue a request for qualifications for the first design-build contract in late 2016 and to break ground in 2017. This schedule assumes the nearly $1.2 billion in construction funding needed is secured from a sales tax measure for transit and highway improvements being contemplated by Los Angeles County Metro for the November 2016 ballot.
The Glendora to Montclair project has been identified as one of the top priorities for funding through the tax measure, and I am encouraged by those who over the past several months have recognized the crucial role this next segment will play in improving mobility and the quality of life for our region. The segment from Glendora to Montclair will offer much-needed relief to the increasingly congested I-210 Corridor (expected to take on the majority of population and job growth in the San Gabriel Valley in the coming decades) and provide direct connections to more than a dozen universities, the Los Angeles County Fairplex, and all of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties via the Montclair TransCenter.
Over the coming months, the Los Angeles County Metro board will make crucial decisions about the sales tax measure, including finalizing the program of transit and highway improvements to be funded through the measure and the timeline for funding each project. With all current indications good that the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair will be included in those plans, the Construction Authority is working to prepare the project for the likelihood that the measure will be approved by voters in less than a year.
So with the completion of one phase, the next begins. The journey continues.
Habib F. Balian