Foothill Gold Line Light Rail Extension is First Measure M-Funded Rail Project to Break Ground
GLENDORA, CA The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $1.5 billion, six-station Foothill Gold Line light rail extension from Glendora to Montclair at Citrus College in Glendora. Attendance at the ceremony was large and diverse, with elected representatives from all levels of government, as well as transportation and higher education officials and hundreds of community stakeholders, joining the Construction Authority to celebrate the start of construction for the 12.3-mile extension. The historic ceremony marks the first Measure M-funded rail project to begin construction. The ceremony concluded with an official proclamation from the City of Glendora, delivered by Glendora Mayor Gary Boyer, designating December 2, 2017 Foothill Gold Line Day.
"When L.A County voters passed Measure M last year, they gave us an unprecedented mandate to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and build one of the most robust public transit systems in the world," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair of the Metro Board. "Now, it's our turn to deliver, and that work starts today, with this promising new phase of the Metro Gold Line."
Dozens of local, state and federal elected officials were in attendance at the ceremony. Speakers included U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff, Grace Napolitano, Judy Chu and Norma Torres; California State Senators Connie Leyva and Anthony Portantino; Metro Board Chairman and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Metro Board Members and Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger; Metro Board Member, Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Member and Duarte Mayor John Fasana; Metro Board Member and Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian; Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Chairman Doug Tessitor; and Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Vice Chairman and Claremont City Council Member Sam Pedroza. Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington and Foothill Gold Line CEO Habib F. Balian also participated. Citrus College Superintendent/President Dr. Geraldine M. Perri welcomed everyone to the historic occasion, and KNX 1070 Newsradio host Frank Mottek served as the ceremony's emcee.
"Funding the second phase of the Gold Line extension is the perfect example of what we're trying to achieve through our agency's comprehensive transportation plan," said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. "As we make transit more available in new communities, we are changing the face of Southern California and creating an infrastructure inheritance for our children and grandchildren."
The first three years of construction will be used to relocate strategic utilities, conduct pre-construction activities, hire a design-build contractor and finalize the project design. Major construction will begin in 2020 and consist of two construction phases: (1) relocating/rebuilding the freight/Metrolink systems and (2) building the Gold Line light rail system. Substantial completion is anticipated in 2026.
"The Construction Authority's team has been working tirelessly over the last few years to ready the Glendora to Montclair segment for construction," said Foothill Gold Line CEO Habib F. Balian. "Today is a celebration of that tremendous effort, as well as the partnership that the Construction Authority has with our corridor cities and Metro that allowed this project to be the first Measure M funded project to move forward. We are ready for the work ahead on this transformative project for the San Gabriel Valley."
Construction alone is expected to generate $2.6 billion in economic output, 17,000 jobs, more than $1 billion in labor income and nearly $40 million in tax revenues for Los Angeles County. Nearly $2 billion in private investments in transit-oriented developments have already been made or planned within a half-mile of the six future stations from Glendora to Montclair.
When completed, the Glendora to Montclair project will extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from its eastern terminus in Azusa through the foothill communities in the San Gabriel Valley and into San Bernardino County, adding new light rail stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. Each will connect to the expanding rail network in Los Angeles County, as well as the Inland Empire, and provide opportunities for county residents, workers and visitors to connect to many regional and local points of interest along the corridor, including two dozen colleges, the Los Angeles County Fairplex, several outdoor recreation facilities, historical sites and museums, and retail and dining centers.
Funding for the project is coming from both Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. The portion of the project within Los Angeles County (Glendora to Claremont) is being mostly funded by Metro's Measure M half-cent sales tax, as well as residual Measure R funds from the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The portion of the extension from Claremont to Montclair is being funded by San Bernardino County.