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Foothill Gold Line to Pomona Is Officially Under Construction

10:01 AM PDT on October 7, 2019

At a celebration this morning, dignitaries signed the contracts that gave the go-ahead for Foothill Gold Line construction to Pomona, and maybe to Montclair. From Glendora to Pomona, construction gets underway immediately and is anticipated to complete in 2025. Metro and the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority have until 2021 to secure additional funding to activate an additional portion of the contract to extend the line to Montclair.

This means that Metro now has four rail lines under construction: Crenshaw/LAX, Regional Connector, Westside Purple Line, and now the Gold Line.

Gold Line Phase 2B map - via Metro
Gold Line Phase 2B map - via Metro

The Foothill Gold Line phase 2b will be a 12.3-mile light rail line extending from Glendora to Montclair. The extension will include six stations, one each in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair. When extended to Montclair, the line will cross outside L.A. County into San Bernardino County.

Congressmember Norma Torres addressing this morning's Gold Line ceremony
Congressmember Norma Torres addressing this morning's Gold Line ceremony

This morning's signing ceremonies were a veritable who's who of L.A. County leaders. In attendance were U.S. Congressmember Norma Torres, State Senator Anthony Portantino, Assemblymember Chris Holden, Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger, Metro CEO Phil Washington, and numerous other mayors and councilmembers from cities throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Pomona Mayor and Construction Authority Chair Tim Sandoval hosted the ceremonies, remarking that it had been a challenging year for the agency but that Pomona and its neighbors were ready and eager to welcome the new light rail. An early groundbreaking took place for the project in 2017, but then, in late 2018, the main construction contract was delayed by escalating construction costs. What had estimated to cost $1.5 billion jumped to $2.1 billion. The Authority had to build what it could with monies in hand, ultimately cutting some costs and securing some additional funds to get the project to Pomona. Sandoval praised the Pomona terminus as a critical connection to Metrolink, as well as the city's Fairplex, museums, and schools.

Many officials echoed the theme that the Gold Line will cross city and county boundaries: borders that divide cities but are invisible to constituents in their commutes to work. Several praised the Construction Joint Powers Authority structure that taps into local elected leadership.

Nearly all speakers - including Torres, Portantino, and Holden - expressed their support for extending the Gold Line all the way to the Ontario Airport.

Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts speaking at this morning's Foothill Gold Line celebration
Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts speaking at this morning's Foothill Gold Line celebration

Assemblymember Holden spoke of the importance of the Gold Line for catalyzing transit-oriented development. Mayor Butts called the Gold Line a "godsend for daily commuters" and a "pressure relief valve for the 210 Freeway." Mayor Garcetti spoke of the importance of transit to keep the "earth habitable" in the face of the climate crisis that is causing fires and is anticipated to put "neighborhoods underwater."

The ceremony concluded with a contract signing by Gold Line Authority CEO Habib Balian, Kiewit Senior Vice President Terry Robinson, and Parsons Executive Vice President Mark Fiakowski.

The Kiewit-Parsons team built the earlier phases of the Foothill Gold Line. Today's design-build contract includes $805.6 million for the first nine miles from Glendora to Pomona, including four stations. Metro and the Authority have until October 2021 to secure additional funding to build the remaining portion of the project to Claremont and Montclair, for a total contract amount of $1,186.9 million.

SBLA San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”

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